Wednesday, 3 February 2010

AWww10: The Acne Strikes Again!

So, off to the East End trenches again, my fellow warriors, for Acne's AW10 show, which took place at The Tramshed, just across the road from the Swedish label's London studio. And yes, a second Acne post in the same page doesn't exactly make for editorial variety but hey, I love them, they showed, I went. I did try to, hmmm, tweet my thoughts as soon as I got home but the smell of grilled vegetables smoking a bit too much put a stop to that!

The mere suggestion of an Acne show is enough to get me excited about what Jonny Johansson and his team could come up with and reading in Mel Rickey's blog Fashion Editor at Large that Ingmar Bergman's set designer, Charles Koroly, would be involved was more than promising. Jonny gives another of his inspired old-man-in-a-Parisian-cafe, girl-on-her-bicycle-in-NY stories:"When I was playing football with my sons, I approached this man who was wearing the most incredible shoes. I had seen him previously walking by my apartment in the most amazing creations - and I was super intrigued as to who he was - it was only later after talking with him I found out that he was Ingmar Bergman's set and costume designer and realised I loved his work as much as his look."

Once we crowded into the large dark space, with a large curtain hanging at the front of the runway, smoke filling the air, I had one thought, 'please, let there be a raised platform of some sort'. The music started, no platform. Instead, the back-lit silhouette of each model was seen behind the curtain before they walked in front to pose and walk back. An interesting take on a show, you'll agree, but I can't imagine what the people behind me and all the way back to the entrance would have seen. Not much is my guess. The intimacy of previous presentations, where you can walk right up to the model and inspect, touch, take close-up shots of their look and have a quick chat with Jonny was not there, understandably after all, this was a show. But just about being able to catch the model's shoes (Acne shoes are as much an indication of where the collection is at as the clothing) was a bit disappointing.

Moaning, done. It was a great show and this is how I test this: do I walk away from the venue trying to make sense of what I saw? Tick. Do I start by 'hmmm, not sure'? Tick. Do I wake-up the next morning instantly wanting every single piece that was shown? Tick, tick and tick again! My first thoughts upon seeing the models walk out was 'desert warrior' (very fashion ed talk, don't you think?!). The silhouette has not changed much since last season's spiritual lean, drapey feel and from reading the press notes this morning, Mr. Johansson intended to continue SS10's shape and form. And, happily for all of us, the collaboration with London based jeweller/designer/dude extraordinaire Husam El Odeh continues for another season. Seeing the shiny, metal pieces on the models' arms and clothing put a big smile on my face. Jonny puts it better when he says, "I feel we have just started to explore our creativity together and to stop that after a few months felt really wrong. For me collaboration is more of a love affair - I am not really into one night stands." Don't you just love this guy?

The colour palette was darker; a lot of black in leather, inky blue but also light grey and sand. Draped, loose trousers, tight leather pieces, visible zips and big sheepskin jackets. The shoes combined the two big stories of the last couple of seasons; spring-summer's spikey sandals, with jewel colour heels this time, and Atacoma-inspired platform boots with sculptured fur. The make-up screamed warrior, or Avatar, take your pick, and a sleeveless jacket with army/war-correspondent multi-pockets at the front caught my attention. It turns out, it was Star Wars that got Jonny thinking, courtesy of his sons and their obsession with the films. "I have to watch it and live it day after day, so for this season I created an aesthetic based around Star Wars the Clone Wars. I am not doing it because I have choice; it has just completely penetrated my world." The show ended with a shower of inky grey fabric flowers falling against the sandy curtain.

So, Johansson juniors, I salute you. May the force be with us all!

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