Acne Studios Mens SS16
Acne Studios mens SS16 collection was presented at Paris Fashion Week and the Swedish brand continued to challenge gender norms and unisex dressing. While designer Jonny Johansson approached AW15 collection with a prominent fight of feminists and LGBT activists – scarves and tops were emblazoned with “EQUALITY”, “FEMINIST” and “GENDER” –
his love for New York Dolls and their unisex approach to dressing saw him playing up with silhouette for this new collection. His meeting with Robin Kegel, a Californian-born, Biarritz-based surfer also led Johansson to draw inspiration and weave the surfboard’s art into SS16’s prints and colours.
The colours in this collection go from city greys and browns to vivid primary red, blue and green and the fabrications include lightweight tailoring wools, treated cotton and linen, woven jersey, crepe and silk poplin. There is an insouciant attitude that is reflected in the models hair (an inspiration from Kegel who cuts his own hair) and collection silhouette and treatment – jumpsuits were loose, cashmere sweaters were intentionally pilled, trench jackets had a “dirty downtown attitude” and oversized leather shoelaces were fashioned into belts.
It is clear that Johansson has crafted another collection that does not simply challenge the idea of gender dressing but dressing in itself. Fashion week is often a platform for designers to stage their conceptual ideas – clothes which sometimes do not translate into a retail equivalent – and while at first glance, this SS16 collection looks to be an interesting one with its commercial viability but somehow the brand always manages to turn something unconventional into relevance.