Acne Studios Wants You To Keep The Faith
Men’s Spring/Summer 2022 Collection
We can thank the lockdown for this sublime collection.
While Jonny Johansson, the Creative Director of Acne Studios, was in lockdown he had more time than he ever had in the past to dream and make clothing. The free time gave him the opportunity to work on design, and the elements from his subconscious came to the forefront of his mind.
“This is a very personal collection for me, drawing on my subconscious memories of counterculture, especially in music. I like the contrast between the hard authority of the uniform, and the softness of those who seek another way to live,” says Johansson.
There are no literal references in this collection to any particular rock stars or bands, but rather referencing the library in his mind, of his own memories and experiences. The Creative Director taps into the subconscious world as an influence, with its glimpses of details that come together to make something new.
“I love the juxtaposition between hard uniforms and pieces that are softer or more feminine. I have such respect for traditional menswear, but I always think there’s something about it that needs to be questioned and changed,” he says. In this collection, it’s about questioning the power of the clothing, subverting it, and contrasting it with pieces that are super soft and fluid, elaborate and patterned. It’s a way of dressing that’s long been part of counterculture, and it is something that’s still relevant today.
The garments trigger nostalgia of blissed-out optimism and pleasure, with symbols of different belief systems and promote a relaxed way of living; while wearing a decorative wardrobe of long, relaxed and flared lines. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the uniforms are turned into garments of unity, like an oversized bomber with fertility symbols embroidered at the chest and checked cuffs, or a structured leather police jacket, its broad shoulders and utility pockets exaggerated and worn with striped wool bell bottom pants.
A touch of flamboyancy can be spotted throughout the collection; oversized lilac cotton ripstop coated with flower quilting will make anyone stop and do a double take.
The collection’s mood is that of togetherness, but also with a touch of a “fuck off” kind of attitude. Flares and ruffles on men in today’s world still are taken as a sign of rebellion and resisting authority, but Johansson has another opinion on it. “I don’t agree. It means, I have another opinion. I am very interested in how this trouser shape can still carry such clear meaning of an alternative way of being.”
The jewelry showcased is aimed to make you feel like pieces you collect on a year of backpacking. To give a tougher edge, the boots either have high stack heels, or soles of cork and marbleised rubber. Berets are a symbol of resistance, an ode to the 70s, and many of the bags borrow from women’s shapes to consolidate this mix of masculine and feminine.
In collaboration with artist Rabin Huissen, pieces in the collection feature images of his own body to make them look like human souls. “It’s as if you’ve stripped everything away and gotten to the core of what really matters. We used a print of his work on a long tunic so that we could do his work justice.”