Though Acne has never released a titled collection, as other brands often do, they have always managed a cohesion and clarity in their themes and designs which elevated their runway to one of the more intriguing of fashion week.
Acne has no long history of presenting on the runway - indeed many of it's earlier collections opted for visual presentations which were static. In Johansson's words, the collection was "experimenting with the definition of garments". This manifests itself in what is perhaps Acne's most ambitious season thus far. Johansson détourned classic forms and pieces in a way Acne has traditionally not played with. Army coats cut as though they were sport coats, trenches with the collar of a polo shirt, and so on. Johansson seemed to appreciate the impracticality of some of his suggestions. A sheer plastic shirt, for instance. He came up with slightly more plausible ideas with other tops, such as a hoodie and orange safety pants, or a silken vest tucked in brown baggy pants with a chic asymmetrical baggy waist.
What is also important to consider is the shift from presentation to runway. The language of presentation is the defining feature in communication (medium is the message), and it is not on mere whim that Acne has chosen to present a runway. Johansson claimed that fashion had still yet to find a better language to communicate it's goals than that of the runway. Indeed, presentation has always been crucial to understanding the aesthetics of Acne. Of his brand, Johansson said that “It’s a playful self-expression. You could say a lot, or you don’t have to bother,” he said, noting that Acne takes a similar individual approach to its stores. “Sometimes we make a yellow store. With the L.A. store we just launched recently, the idea was to go camping. So the store was completely like no walls, nothing, just a tent in the middle.”
The show took place in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, and included famous faces - Rod Paradot, the DJ Kiddy Smile and the actor Niels Schneider being among those present. Indeed, this season marked a new direction for Acne, yet, it precisely realized the label which the founder gave his work; minimal maximalism.
Shop Acne at Common in-store. Available online soon.