While Arket, Weekday et al. may be the Scandinavian brands Regent Street can’t get enough of, Acne Studios has long reigned supreme as the luxury option of choice. An original proponent of minimal, trans-seasonal looks, Acne Studios was offering timeless leather biker jackets and chic shearling coats before they became the trendy staple they are today.
For Autumn/Winter 2017, the brand once again set a new precedent for RTW labels by offering a unique, 100-piece collection all made by hand. The move illustrates the craftsmanship at the heart of Acne Studios’s design process, even though they are a label producing for the mass market.
Featuring floor-length woollen duster coats, statement leather trenches and gingham blazers, the ‘Showpiece Prototypes’ draw on the core aesthetic of Acne Studios, while also offering a couture, idiosyncratic look.
“I wanted to make a playful and spontaneous collection that is alive.” Explained Jonny Johansson, Creative Director of Acne Studios. “It is romantic and primitive, grown up and feminine. There is an individuality and intuitiveness that is like an alternate way of living; carving out your own world and creating garments to survive within it.”
This new collection comes in the wake of an Acne Studios renaissance, which has been nailing their design offer recently. The campaign for their new season featured dads Kordale Lewis and Kaleb Anthony joking around with their four children in their New York City home. This campaign spotlighted the liberal Swedish mentality that celebrates modern families in all forms.
In the campaign the Lewis-Anthony clan wore Acne Studios’s signature beanies with the now iconic ‘straightface’ stitched on. This non-committal, straight-faced smiley that can now be seen across many of Acne Studio’s designs appeared, Acne Studios co-founder Jonny Johansson explained to High Snobiety, when his team were doing a fitting for a show and realised they didn’t have a bag. ‘I took a piece of paper and I drew this Swedish guy. Instead of a smiley, I drew a square face from a straight line and two dots for eyes.’ He added, ‘And that’s how it came to be, just an ordinary Swedish citizen. Not too happy, not too sad, but somewhere in between. Lagom in Swedish.’
Acne Studios also recently collaborated with Californian artist, surfer and musician Alex Knost on a capsule collection which dropped in the Blå Konst project store in Tokyo. The collaboration saw Knost create sculptures from clothes in the collection, and garments were inspired by clothes in his own wardrobe. The project was the latest in a long-standing series of Acne Studios projects with artists, which over the years has also involved the brand working with creatives such as Jack Pierson, London-based artist Daniel Silver and sculptor Peter Peter Schlesinger.
This new collection rolls back the artistic connection to its purest form, offering covetable, one-of-a-kind designs for a limited time only. Available exclusively in Dover Street Market and Acne Studios stores, if you’re looking for a way to give your London style a unique edge this autumn then there’s only one thing you should buy.
Acne Studios Showpiece Prototype will be available from 15th September 2017.