September 17, 2011 London
Thus, the signature Acne garment this season is a broad cotton caftan, worn as a top and trimmed with graphic, tapelike strips of contrast color. The loose, airy feel of Marrakech style showed up, as well, in the collection's capacious shorts and culottes, a key silhouette. But Johansson remixed the reference, mashing it up with seriously street looks such as crop tops laser-cut with stars, and cropped leather motorcycle jackets and pants inset with racing stripes and panels of sparkly plastic. The pants, in particular, are going to fly off the racks. The collection's other big theme was a kind of über femininity, seen in flared and full skirts and little peplum jackets; here, the designer struck an original tone by experimenting with his materials, making these pieces out of dense-looking bonded silk, cotton, denim, and more. Johansson also played graphic games with color, punctuating his primary palette of white, black, and denim blue with earthy greens, rusts, and ochers, plus some bracing hits of lavender, pink, and electric blue.
On the whole, this collection set a new bar for Acne as a fashion house, as opposed to merely a bellwether street-wear brand. That said, you'll be seeing these pieces on the street; at a certain point during the show, one got the sense that the insider audience had stopped taking notes and started writing their preorders. That's always a good sign. Be on the lookout for Acne's giant-tasseled loafers: The black pairs will be a hit, and the ones in sparkly electric blue will be a fashion phenomenon.