I guess many designers, hearing the word ‘ballet’, would go for all shades of pastel pink, do fancy layers of tulle, or keep it ‘sensual’, yet coldly strict. Jonny Johansson, the mind behind Acne Studios, proved in his spring-summer 2019 collection that when fashion collides with ballet, the result doesn’t have to be one of those well-known clichés: or your average, pretty ballerina girl, or that kind of cigarette smoking, drowning in beige lady who’s in fact a ballet teacher. There was something of the incredibly colourful Ballets Russes and their distinct vibrancy; maybe, it’s Edgar Dégas’s Petite Danseuse gone very modern, wearing flip-flops and sneakers after the rehearsals in some other dimension; or maybe, the ballet mood got conveyed so smoothly thanks to the placement of Merce Cunningham posters on t-shirts and jackets. Well, whatever the secret is, Johansson captured the energy, the strength and the beauty of ballet in a very profound way. Also, I adored the way he divided the collection into four ballerina ‘stages’: rehearsal, onstage, off-duty, and evening. From flowing pleated skirts and bodysuits to tracksuits and tuxedos, it might be a wardrobe of a ballet dancer – but don’t take it too literal, as it all looks so approachable and realistic.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
“They come back looking amazing, great skin, relaxed”, is how Jonny Johansson sees his friends and colleagues that have chosen to move away from urban environments to live in the countryside. Airy, light and cozy are the words to describe Acne Studios‘ latest collection – one of the best in a while. What the Scandinavian label has in offer for autumn-winter 2018? Well, everything is lovely, that’s first. Whether we’re speaking of the loosely fit, buttoned maxi-dresses in toned florals or plaid blanket coats, it’s a wardrobe that’s ready to please you in autumn, both in the city or in the forest (mushroom-picking!). Also, I can’t get enough of the colour palette, which reminds me of an idyll, late September rural landscape. You might ask yourself a question, why is the collection presented as early as Vetements or Proenza Schouler? Johansson’s decision for Acne Studios follows a certain ‘detox’ philosophy. Showing earlier, close in time to the menswear presentation, lets Johansson focus creatively on a specific concept and, to some extent, escape the regular Paris fashion week rush for limelight. And now, off to the country.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
You always feel an energetic attitude at Acne Studios collections, naturally caused by the bold colour palette, psychedelic prints and the 80s spirit which surrounds the clothes. The creative director of the brand, Jonny Johansson, has been inspired by a Californian punk band, The Cramps, and their rebellious, acid-dyed looks. But the autumn-winter 2016 outing wasn’t a wannabe “grunge” collection. Johansson reinterpreted his obsession, playing with silhouettes (orange, duvet jackets worn as kimono dresses, for example) and textures. From a transparent PVC top, which hid a striped mini-dress, to über-cool yellow leopard patterns on the knits and undies, the designer proves that a punk soul has many forms of its appearance – but it always keeps on looking defiant, and going against the flow!
The newest Acne Studios collection for pre-fall 2016 is a perfect set of looks, which defines the current fashion obsession – so the raw girl, who is wearing her favourite, yet slightly dilapidated knitted cardigan, cowboy boots from a Los Angeles thrift shop (Gilda Ambrosio style, of course) and a satin slip dress, but in a very party-hard way. The grunge edginess of this Parisian outing is softened with toned and warm autumn colours of curcuma and dove grey, while the focus on knitwear (this green, super-long scarf looks perfect for a lazy, September day) felt like a fresh gust of air for the brand. If talking of the textures, one of the coats is a real, one-of-a-kind piece – the tartan check has a kind of an arty, hybrid contrast on the waist-line. The contemporary usage of velvet as a bra-piece of a slip-dress looks both dramatic and flawless with a delicate shawl tied around the neck of the model. Jonny Johansson, this collection is a BOMB.