Acne is knitting together its men's and its women's. Jonny Johansson, fresh off a trip to New York to introduce Acne's women's pre-fall was at the Crillon in Paris today to debut its Fall men's—both collections, it turned out, were inspired by Swedish playwright, director, book collector, narcissist, and paramour August Strindberg. An exhibition at Stockholm's Fotografiska photo museum had shed new light on Strindberg for the Swedes. Here in the U.S., he's best known as the author of Miss Julie, but Johansson and his team discovered he was also a canny self-promoter and dandy, with a love of his own image and a deep interest in propagating it. The show focused on Strindberg's portraits and self-portraits, which he would print on cards and distribute. He was into branding a century before branding.
That makes him an interesting choice for a fashion label, even beyond the possibilities for dandified menswear his own wardrobe suggests. Johansson worked plenty of that in, too. A fur-collared peacoat suggested Strindberg's navy Swedish military garb, the extra-long shirts worn loose, the styles of the nineteenth century. An appealing watercolor print was taken from the hand-printed Florentine paper of one of the collector's books. Neck scarves, giant teddy-bear shearlings, and cropped pant lengths would've been the additions of more modern dandies.
It was a smaller showing than usual for the label, but that's in part due to the push and pull that results when a former two become one. If Acne is conserving resources, all the better to prepare for the women's show it's planning for Paris fashion week, its debut on that calendar. It will be created in collaboration with the photographer and artist Katerina Jebb and the Musée Galliera's maverick director, Olivier Saillard. In the spirit of coming together, it will include a few looks for men.