Emotional patchworking. Elemental materials and the craft of elevation. Patchworking and repairing as acts of self-expression, with dressing up for all hours. The beauty of raw seams and exposed padding, exploring our idea of what’s finished and what is refined.
The physicality of clothes: cut up, restitched, aged. Grand couture gestures are inherent, in worn or distressed fabrics. Whilst contrasting textures reveal the complexity of character.
“I was thinking about this idea of emotional patchworking. When I was a kid, my journey into fashion started when I started cutting things up and putting them back together. This collection is about creating from what is around us, making something new from something familiar. It is about stitching, mending, repairing. It is not destructive or anarchic – it is about the act of putting things back together, and the beauty of repair. It is experimenting with the materials at the heart of Acne Studios – denim, leather, jersey, knit – as well as elevating materials we live with every day.”
Floor-length paper bag skirts; distressed knits repaired with crystals; quilted upholstery coats; fringed scarf dresses; bustier top ballgowns in patchwork denim or knit.
Consciously handmade and homemade. Patchwork upcycled denim and leather; distressed jersey; cotton knit; silver hand-painted leather; silk crepe; upholstery jacquard; foam.
Foam padding is left exposed at raw seams of quilted coats; sleeves of T-shirts attached by hook-and-eye; oversized tailoring with reduced details, often inside out; draped jersey dresses constructed from knots that reveal the skin; trench sleeves are open to the elbow and held by leather straps; floral organza embroidered with crystals for a baroque effect.
Slouchy denim patchwork totes; superflat ladylike top-handle bags; 3D oval-sided bags with silverware clasps; silver leather mini Musubi bags.
Long-sleeve distressed knit gloves repaired with crystals; broaches, belt buckles like home silverware; futuristic upside-down sunglasses.
Knitted boots; thigh high biker boots; stiletto sandals; supersized house slippers.
The show is accompanied by a live performance from pioneering electronic musician Suzanne Ciani. Widely regarded as ‘America’s first female synth hero’, she has been quietly innovating in various fields of music and sound design for nearly half a century and was one of the few women on the frontline of electronic innovation in the 1970s. Ciani also featured in the 2020 documentary Sisters with Transistors.
The fake fur covering the sunken-salons-inspired seats will be re-used in upcoming collections and donated to Parisian Fashion School, Studio Berçot.
Acne Studios Women’s FW22 — Q&A with Jonny Johansson
- What’s the background to the collection?
I was thinking about this idea of emotional patchworking. When I was a kid, my journey into fashion started when I started cutting things up and putting them back together. My mother might have bought me something she thought I would like, and I’d chop it off or stitch a belt on it. I would walk to school thinking, is anybody going to notice me in this? It’s how I started playing with denim, where everything comes from with Acne Studios. That’s why it’s emotional for me – it’s about using clothes as a means of self-expression.
- Can you talk about the patchworking in the collection?
There’s literal patchworking in the collection in materials like denim and leather. Then there is the way we put the looks together. I want to move on from the idea of perfection in fashion. In this collection there are exposed seams, especially in the padded and quilted coats, or there are sleeves that are attached with hook-and-eye, as if you could take them off and replace them with something else. There is also the sense of repair, with holes in knits and jersey stitched with Swarovski crystals.
- What about the feeling of dressing up?
Dressing-up is important to the collection, and comes from that feeling of being a kid and trying things on to work out who you are. For me, it was about being in bands and dressing up on stage. For this collection, we’ve thought about couture gestures, like long-sleeve gloves, or giant bows on the back of T-shirts. We end the show with two grand bustier ball gowns, one in upcycled denim, the other in distressed knit.
- Can you talk about the familiar materials?
I wanted the collection to be made from materials that were familiar, both from Acne Studios and also the home. The collection is built around materials that are at the heart of Acne Studios – denim, leather, jersey and knit. We distressed them, repaired them, patchworked them, painted them, finding new ways with what is familiar.
Then we have used materials in the home, such as jacquards that are like home furnishings, or the foam that is used in upholstery. I am very much inspired by the artist Jessi Reaves, who we worked with on the men’s collection, and the way you can see the hand in all her pieces. It’s like you can see her thought processes in her work.
- What is the attitude of the collection?
This is a collection that is about the very human aspect of creativity. It is about stitching, mending, repairing. It is not destructive or anarchic – it is about the act of putting things back together, and the beauty of repair.