Embracing the transitional nature of this Paris Fashion Week, Jonny Johansson opted for a presentation format for his Acne Studios spring collection, which was all about light.
Guests walked through a series of white rooms in a wing of the Grand Palais in Paris, where luminous installations evoked the transition from dawn ‘til dusk. The soft glow of pink neon tubes and the stroboscopic beams of a light sculpture illuminated outfits that blended earthy materials, like raw-cut leather, with iridescent fabrics.
Filmy slips and pants were layered with oversize jackets or crochet knits. A colorful gradient print evoked the Northern Lights, while a crinkled paper slipdress had a holographic tin foil shine. Translucent outfits incorporated star motifs, inspired by the work of Los Angeles-based artist Ben Quinn.
“We liked the mood of a spiritual gathering for the moonrise, when the night is lit up like day,” Johansson said. He worked in plenty of soft, enveloping shapes, including a glossy black caftan, a beige suede poncho tunic and a crinkled cocoa-colored maxidress of bedspread proportions.
“I didn’t want protection gear. I wanted comfort and optimism. I think what we gained in this lockdown has been the calm and the tranquility in one way, even though it’s been a lot of pressure, obviously, of not getting sick,” he explained backstage.
The designer, who recently inaugurated the company’s new headquarters in a Brutalist building in Stockholm, has taken advantage of the last few months to pause and reflect. “I’ve been quite happy. It’s been a lot of changes you have to do, you know — we have to get real about stuff,” he said.
WATCH: Inside Acne Studios’ Spring 2021 Collection
“Before this happened, I think that people looked at fashion as very negative, environmentally unfriendly and impossible to execute. Now I feel you sort of understand why fashion is there: it’s also there for entertainment, for self-expression, and we can change it into something environmentally friendly, into something that actually is not only narcissistic,” he said.
With its gentle textures and easy proportions, his lineup radiated serenity — moonrise rituals strictly optional.