Outside of Sweden, August Strindberg is best known as a playwright, and particularly as the writer of the frequently revived drama Miss Julie. In his homeland, however, the figure of Strindberg looms large: As Jonny Johansson explained at the Acne Studios presentation today, he's revered as a novelist, a poet, a painter, and a man of ideas. And you might say that Strindberg loomed extra large over Acne this season. Inspired by portraits of Strindberg that he happened to stumble onto, Johansson turned out a compelling collection of classic, essentially utilitarian pieces that had been exaggerated to almost comic effect. Emphasis on almost—though there was a sense of whimsy here, notably in the cross-body bags with absurdly long straps, the exaggerated volumes and proportions were the product of serious and canny thought. Johansson's idea was to reinterpret the layered and padded look of Swedish winter kit, feminizing rugged outerwear by cutting coats in A-line and cocoon shapes, and updating the silhouettes further with superlong bell sleeves and oversize hoods and collars.
That strategy made for some standout parkas, adapted peacoats, and cozy faux furs. Johansson doubled down on his exaggeration theme by layering those coats over long, flowing button-downs and culottes so surreally big, you'd have to describe them as "vast." The giant culotte has emerged as an Acne staple in recent seasons; indeed, exaggerated volumes and proportions have, themselves, become something of a brand signature. Given all his practice, it's not surprising that Johansson's take on the theme was fluent; what made for a welcome improvement, this time out, was that the exaggerations never seemed arbitrary. At its heart, this was a practical collection made up of easy-to-comprehend items that had been made to look fresh. And what with the writerly source material, it was only fitting that there was poetry to be found here, too, with painted florals and a winning suit of lynx-printed wool.