"Meet me at the wrecking ball, wrecking ball, I'll wear something pretty and white…" So goes the chorus of the Neil Young tune "Wrecking Ball." According to Acne designer Jonny Johansson, Emmylou Harris' plaintive cover of "Wrecking Ball" inspired this season's Acne show—a show that did not, in fact, kick off with a look that was pretty and white, but that did feature country-western atmospherics, not to mention T-shirts that said, simply, MUSIC. Well, sure. Who can't get behind that?
Johansson explained after the show that, for him, music and, in this instance, "Wrecking Ball," conjures a certain aesthetic, and a certain girl. This season, she was a girl much more rustic and unraveled than the Acne regular, given to wearing absolutely gigantic parachute skirts, raw-hem poet blouses, and engineer stripes. "Romantic" is the word Johansson used to describe the collection, and the tone came through. There were some quality looks that emerged from it, like those parachute skirts, and the plain tops with flounced cuffs, and the striped ones that sat off the shoulder. But Johansson couldn't quite get himself to the emotional place he seemed to want to go with these clothes—the Emmylou Harris place, if you will, that's so openly, fearlessly vulnerable. The Acne girl is just too tough for that.
So, perhaps unsurprisingly, the best looks were the ones that were within her traditional comfort zone: After a sad little summer romance in the country—ka-pow!—she was back in town, kicking ass and taking names in graphic leathers, buckled vests, knee-high lug-sole sandals, and the most hands-down fantastic pants seen thus far for Spring '13. Johansson showed his narrow, slashed-ankle bad boys in numerous iterations, and well he should have: They will likely prove one of the must-have items of the season. All in all, this was a mixed result for Acne. There were plenty of pieces that will kill at retail, but the brand labored at being directional, and it showed.