Inside L’Observatoire de Paris, a giant, semi-shattered disco ball crashed into the corner of a plaster-hued set, spilling its mirrored shards onto the floor and alluding to the uninhibited bliss that comes with a sticky, sweaty dance floor. Like an industrial colosseum, an ascension of seats sat around its edges, carpeted in ecru canvas with soft-furnishings and body pillows, offering onlookers’ a moment of comfort and respite amidst the convivial atmosphere of the ‘club’. Ceiling panels of white light perforate a void-like black base, casting stark, club-like shadows across the show, causing time to warp and inhibitions to depart. Designed by Austrian artist Lukas Gschwandtner, it was Acne Studios’ SS24 showspace.
Escorted out by Giant Swan’s techy soundscape, Acne muses wore cyber sport sunnies with their disfigured skin-tight dresses, slashed tank tops and exposed undergarments. A series of couture-like co-ords with skinny jackets and knickers (one was a mini dress) were moulded from crinkled leather that was pulled around the body like papier-mâché, and adorned with pockets and belt loop details in a subtle homage to denim as an industry. Actual denim was distressed or covered in white paint and cracked to look like desert clay. “The industrial mood… comes from the idea of a construction site: things are unfinished, a work in progress,” creative director Jonny Johansson relays.
Johansson also had Katerina Jebb’s scan-ography series Physical Evidence of a Woman on his mind this season. He juxtaposed her subverted symbols of a “feminine dress-code” – red stilettos, false eyelashes, hosiery – onto a number of his ensembles.
Mainly plaster and cement hued, with a momentary blast of floor-sweeping silhouettes in red, vivid blue and green arriving mid-show, an ethos of after-hours liberation was aroused. The clothes were destined for the dance floor.
Photography courtesy of Acne Studios.