MARKING their return to the runway since the pandemic began, the Acne Studios SS22 collection homed in on the brand’s signature of experimenting, clashing historic and futuristic reference points in the process. Alien like shades met wooden clogs; chained at the thigh skirts met pointelle lace boots; and traditional corsets were deconstructed and reimagined with attached sleeves or as upside-down skirts, the boning kept on the exterior, as if wanting to be seen.
Sheer ensembles in bright pops of colour with hanging strings; the brown, swirling – almost paisley like – print; and the use of crochet knit are each features reminiscent of those used for the AW21 collection. But their application has been transformed into almost unrecognisable fashion.
Although there is less of it in each look, the clothing is seemingly stronger than AW21, in which knitwear and loose draping kept an element of softness to the overall aesthetic. The wider shoulders, the chiffon matched with leather and the toughened up knits are examples of this shift.
As Jonny Johansson, Creative Director of Acne Studios, says: “We live in the age of self-identity, of instinct and experimentation. The look is provocative and hard, yet is grounded in handcrafts that are then subverted.”
A youthful breeze flows throughout the collection, with flowers decorating high platform sandals, sheer upon sheer upon sheer ruffles, and mini skirts and skin baring knit that have been delicately crafted to accentuate the loop holes.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, SS22 is the return of Y2k. It’s been flourishing backstage on social media, with many young girls and boys finding inspiration in the early noughties for stylistic points, so it’s an interesting flip of the status quo to see it now finding momentum in high fashion, rather than the other way around.
The three-quarter length trousers, the knitted bags with beaded detail, and the silver love heart and bow emblems that dangle from front of heel or on the hips, further the cutesy vibe. Having said that, Acne Studios has added their own twist on things, the unusual and sometimes irregular cuts of tops, the elongated sleeves and the rich brown palette offer a more sophisticated take on the trend. In turn, cleverly commercialising the trend for the Acne Studio customer.
The patchwork leather, mini skirts with buckled belt, the lace suspenders and the bonnets in knit and sheer offer an alternative old western/equestrian twist. The corsets too could be a nod to this era, and when you take a closer look at the guitar strap shoulders of bags, there is no doubt that traditional western influences have creeped onto the moodboard for SS22.
This results in an unusual, yet effortlessly cool, blend of reference points, which each serve to celebrate handcrafted historic pieces under a modern lens. It’s a collection all about instinct, and the experimentation that clothing brings to our everyday lives.
by Lily Rimmer