In the mood for ACNE (can't help it, I'm a super-fan)

Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by the Fashion Editor at Large

When it comes to ACNE, mood is as important as fashion. Which is as it should be. So in an aroma drenched former tramshed on East London's Rivington Street we attended ACNE's first ever fashion show. There were no ringside seats, and therefore no front row. But the fashion junior (fresh from her backstage chats, see below) and I positioned ourselves at the very front right corner of the stage to bring you the best view we could offer. As you can see from the above shot, the set created by Charles Koroly was atmospheric...
The show didn't have a catwalk as such, either. A large curtain was strongly backlit and you saw the models' shadow before you saw the model, who then swung around to stand in the line of a laser beam and pose for the inevitable lookbook. It was all very Star Trek. The above photo, by the way, shows the best trousers of the collection; a slim-leg jean completely covered with patches showing mystical symbols, including a keyhole, Ying Yang and a labyrinth.

The clothes were ACNE at their loose, sexy, tough-chic best. In a tight palette of colours ranging from soft grey and buttermilk (this pale palette is the Next Big Thing in fashion, peeps) midnight navy and black the collection was a direct evolution of their spring range. There were two distinct trouser shapes: tight, skinny and ruched or loose washed silk with zips. Both shapes were topped with a fold-over collar shearling biker jacket. Likewise the hemlines came one of two lengths: very long or very short. Washed silk jumpsuits were a key outfit builder; I liked the way these were studded with the collaborative work of London-based jeweller Husam El Odeh. As always with ACNE there was copious amounts of leather of a distinctly Mad Max look and feel; and a utility multi-pocket element. Predictably my favourite pieces were a baggy graffiti printed trouser, and the shearling jacket seen below centre.
Talking to ACNE creative director Jonny Johansson after the show, I was amazed to hear that they were packing up the entire shebang and shipping it to Stockholm where it will be shown tonight as part of Stockholm fashion week. He also told me the show was inspired by The Clone Wars film, a favourite of his young sons. But I was more interested why he wanted to do a show in the first place, does ACNE need a show? It has sales and fans (I am a die-hard, as you might have gathered).

"I'm kind of scared of shows, especially catwalk shows. But I thought the trick was to do it before everyone else! Also the more you mature as a designer, and work with your medium you become more comfortable and confident with it," said Jonny.

So what is his ambition with ACNE clothes? "For me it has to be wearable. It's my Swedish functionality and purity coming through. I am always going to be stepping out of that box. It might be ordinary, it might not."

And the boots? There were some ridiculous boots on that runway. "In Sweden in winter it is all about a crazy boot," Jonny quipped.
A telling moment for me came when I asked what animals he was using to create his clothes. "It's all sheepskin; they treat it in new ways which gives it a lot of colours and textures. I did actually make a piece using fox. But it became too luxe. It didn't fit with what we are doing, and we did not include it."

That sums up ACNE for me. we wouldn't want to go all bourgeois now, would we?
PS. I met my major model crush Iris Strubegger last night after she modelled in the show. She is so beautiful. This Blackberry shot doesn't do her justice, especially with her silver space-age forehead make-up. I will share my Iris photo gallery with you soon! Oh, OK, just the one then...
Catwalk photos: Fashion Junior at Large
Mood shots: Fashion Editor at Large
Me and Iris by Caireen Wackett

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