With crystal strands dripping from twisted tree trunks and psychedelic crochet flowers in full bloom, the stage was set for an enchanted forest at Acne Studios tonight. For creative director Jonny Johansson, the fantastical reference was rooted in memories of his childhood growing up in northern Sweden, where the backyard was, as he put it, “infinite woods.” Now a longtime resident of Stockholm, Johansson has built the Scandi brand on a decidedly urban aesthetic, one that first leaned into hardworking denim and cool outerwear. The new collection was presented as a nostalgic exploration of the natural world through a city dweller’s lens.
Models stomped out like bleary-eyed wood nymphs on their way to some all-night rave, decked out in skinny lace-up leather pants and cropped moto jackets that were painted to look like flaky white birch trees and moss green crochet slip dresses studded with flowers that gently unraveled on the bias. Johansson described the distressed look and handwork of the clothes as a rejection of the hyperreal look of digital fashion that has swept social media in the last few years. Perhaps in theory at least, the clothes were conceived of as an antidote to an overstimulated, highly technological way of being—the sartorial equivalent of the digital detox we’ve all desperately been craving.
In practice, that destroyed look had an apocalyptic bent that verged on the threadbare in places. It would be tough to imagine some of the barely-there devoré-and-silk-chiffon leaf dresses finding a place in the real world. The wrapped and draped herringbone wool coats and crinkled oversized blazers, on the other hand, had a practical swagger that was more tangible. That down-to-earth feeling was in line with the mood of the season and seems most likely to hold sway on the street come fall.