After experimenting with a childlike approach to garment construction last season, Jonny Johansson tackled the foundations of the clothes.
“I was experimenting with the definition of garments,” the designer said of the spring collection, which upended workwear staples with unconventional textures and hues, including the offbeat colors that have become a brand signature. The former was echoed in the construction-site venue; the latter by Dawn Bendick’s glowing glass sculptures dotting the catwalk.
For instance, an army field jacket might be cut as a city coat, while a beige trench came with the ribbed collar and cuffs of a polo shirt. Johansson applied neon hues to unexpected items, like an oversize linen suit, or a duffle jacket with haphazardly looped rope fastenings.
He appeared to delight in the sheer impracticality of some of his suggestions. A sheer plastic shirt, anyone? He offered a slightly more plausible take on the idea with filmy tops, like a nude sheer hoodie paired with safety orange trousers, or a silky vest tucked into baggy brown pants with a chic asymmetrical paper-bag waist.
Johansson said he decided to stage his first men’s runway show for Acne Studios, rather than a presentation, because designers had yet to find a better way to communicate. No doubt, in a week marked by the debuts of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and Kim Jones at Dior Homme, share of voice just got a little harder to come by.
Still, you get the sense that Johansson answers to no one but himself. “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.”
Elements of the great outdoors crept into this lineup, too. A navy multipocket jacket was spliced with photo prints of the islands around Stockholm, while a topless model was wrapped in a crinkled blanket trimmed with lime green fringe. He looked like a stray festivalgoer — or maybe just a free man, thinking outside the box.