Ann-Sofie Back designed her Atelje collection around the graphic impact of road signs and police tape. Proceed with caution—no subtext there. But proceed we must (and please proceed to chuckle at the idea of workwear chaps in nubbly faux shearling—indisputably the most random piece among the nine looks).
Back continues to stage a runway show for her commercial Back line during Stockholm fashion week. Here in Paris, she presents the Atelje range, her edition of extreme, editorial looks. This season she signaled her construction message with the color scheme—black, yellow, and asphalt gray—as well as a surfeit of snap-on utilitarian pockets. Like oversize envelopes, they flapped forth from the chest of a cropped jacket and the seat of a skirt that combined gray suiting with leather. Sure, the pockets could be snapped off, but that would be missing the point.
If a shirt covered in yellow and black holographic sequins conveyed the glitzy potential of roadwork, a gray down vest with open vents conveyed the… conceptual? Its chief purpose to block the cold no longer applied. The collection made a statement of sorts, but its relevance wasn't entirely clear, and it seemed like it might resonate more with club kids than collectors.
Still, overall the pieces were wearable, from the black buffalo leather motorcycle jacket lined in yellow shearling (real this time) to the jacquard knitwear that mimicked the ridges of a steel road plate. These ridges were also interpreted as metal beads that clung to a net vest trimmed in silk cord binding. The collection made a solid case that these are unmistakable codes, as strong as the Chanel camellia or the Vuitton damier check—we simply don't associate them with fashion. For Back, this represents shock value (perhaps even more than the chaps).