Jonny Johansson is the creative director of Acne Studios, based in Stockholm.
Can you tell us about the new collection?
Like everyone, we’ve made this collection in isolation, living a very different life to what seems normal to us. Living in isolation can often feel like a dreamscape and I wanted to express that in this collection. I was also thinking about what happens when we emerge and re-enter the world and how we are the same, but yet we are different.
How does this translate to the pieces?
The collection is centred around wrapping and draping, as well as padding and comforting knits. Alongside these, there are moments of elegance and also structure, to give this sense of emerging from the dreamscape. The collection begins with soft and pastel colours, before transitioning into monochromatic clarity.
Talk us through the opening looks.
We start with an oversized wrap coat that’s like a dressing gown worn out of the house. It has this big volume but is soft and flowing in wool that’s printed with small flowers. The following. looks are in textured knit that’s like a worn teddy bear. There’s a cardigan and pants, the cardigan buttoning purposefully off as if it’s been thrown on, and then a long blue sweater dress. Both have destroyed hems as if from well-loved fabrics. All these pieces came from this idea of dreamscape.
What about the wrapping in the collection?
I wanted there to be lots of fabric and for that fabric to be enveloping and comforting. I also wanted the wrapping to be considered and elevated. Nothing is overly finished; nothing is trying to be perfect. It’s like a series of experiments on how to wrap fabric on the body. Sometimes the result is completely covering the body, and at other times it is as if the wrapping is half-finished, with garments underneath revealed.
Can you tell us about the balance between sweetness and elegance?
I wanted there to be an almost kitsch feeling in the collection, which comes from the little floral prints and also the ceramic animals that are either carried, or are on jewellery. These give that feeling of dreamscape, of items in the home that become so familiar they turn up in your dreams in unexpected ways. These contrast with gowns that are elegant without the formality, like a draped gown with a caped back, that could also appear in the same dream.
Can you talk us through the monochromatic ending?
When we were designing the collection, we were actually thinking of weddings and funerals and the white or black clothes worn for rituals in our life cycle. As the collection evolved, we realised these pieces had a clarity to them, as if you were awakening from the dreamscape. When we get to the very end, the monochromatic looks mirror each other, like a pair of silk jackets that are lightly padded, one in black, the other white, or jersey dresses with boxy, exaggerated sleeves.
What about the accessories in the collection?
I like how the ceramics held in the hand are almost like the imaginary friends you had as a kid. They also look great in miniature on chokers. Shearling hats are super cosy, as are the handknitted mittens. The cowhide clog boots add to the dreamscape feeling, and so too do the structured bags, that are warped and distorted, like in a dream.