PFW: From The Forest To The Discoteque With Acne Studios
Is it a pocket purse? Is that a bra t-shirt? Are these hoodie gowns? It's all fit for the party at Jonny Johansson's Spring/Summer 2024
If there is one thing that Jonny Johansson can credit Acne Studios’ enduring appeal to, it’s the creative director’s ability to balance avant-garde ideas with realism, anchoring playful designs with contemporary functionality. And with his latest collection, he does this once again.
While Johansson’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection was rooted in a fairycore mysticism, Spring/Summer 2024 brought it back the club. At L’Observatoire de Paris, a smashed disco ball served as the runway’s centrepiece, providing a symbolic interpretation of this season’s agenda to provide unexpected pieces for the dancefloor.
With fits that seemed to subvert trends, Johansson leaned heavily on skinny-fit trousers and blazers, and introduced a hyperextended waistline in skirts that almost appeared like shirts hanging from a clothesline. A similar innovation showed up in mini skirts—both in distressed leather for the opening look and tan suede later down the track.
Particularly enjoyable pieces came in the form of a tank top and dress that featured feathers bursting out of the fabric and mesh dresses laden with pom poms. Then, instead of presenting the usual utility pants, Johansson made a mini skirt, a staples mini dress and an oversized leather coat, all affixed with ‘purse pockets’. Yes, even those of us whose idea of ‘essential’ handbag items includes 10+ items may now enjoy a hands-free experience. Studs were also a prominent motif, teasing a new era of the Y2K revival that could see us all wearing cuffs and belts covered in spiked studs—if anyone could get us board, it’s Johansson.
As he’s done well in recent collections, distressed leathers treatd in grungey faded paints and crinkled textures brought balance to the lightness of the rest of the collection. And speaking of barely there, Acne Studios offered up their own version of ‘knickers as pants’ in coloured leathers.
Elsewhere, the satin draping that has been a hit with the brand evolved to what looked like jersey. In fact, two looks, consisting of a layered bra crop and asymmetrical skirts, were reminiscent of someone throwing pieces on straight from the dryer in a rush to make closing time.
Though the focus of this collection seemed to be about eleveating everyday clothes to make them rave-ready, a collection of silk evening-wear options in bright block tones featured as crowd-pleasers before hoodie/gown hybrids made their controversial debut.
It’s been clear over the last few seasons that Johansson is evolving the Swedish fashion house, veering away from the ‘cool but timeless’ designs that flirted with the avant-garde and moving more towards ecclectic innovation that might not fit in everyone’s wardrobe—we’re still waiting for someone to pull out last season’s leaf dress—but become instant trends. Thus far, it’s paying off, but it’ll be interesting to see where he takes this beloved brand.
Model on the runway at Acne Studios Ready To Wear Spring 2024 held at Observatoire de Paris on September 27, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Dominique Maitre/WWD via Getty Images)