If you told us pre-pandemic we’d all soon be wearing leather corsets, mini skirts, tight see-through dresses and trousers with flesh-baring cut-outs, we would hardly have believed you. This was a time of The Row, Bottega Veneta and beige everything, where minimalism and oversized equalled chic and people’s Instagram timelines looked almost as identical to each other as #homeinspo accounts did. But though the roaring ‘20s may not have started with as much fervour as we’d anticipated leading into 2021, the current trends and the mood on the runway is reminiscent of what’s to come: parties, fun and a new show of sexy.
Of course, it’s not just the pandemic that had us all wanting to get out of the house wearing short skirts and crop tops. The shift of style had been slowly taking place for years as Gen Z discovers the style of the ‘90s and Y2K for the first time. Designers are embracing the change of mood, happy we’re once again ready for colour, experimentation, and skintight fabric. The likes of the next-gen, such as London’s Supriya Lele and Nensi Dojaka, have made the style their signature, while Italian brands such as Roberto Cavalli and Blumarine are having their time in the sun yet again after years of largely being ignored by the industry. But it’s the houses that are perfectly straddling the current atmosphere while not straying too far from their DNA who are doing it perfectly, as displayed on the Acne Studios’ Spring Summer 2022 runway this evening in Paris.
The Swedish brand celebrated its return to the runway for the first time since the pandemic began with a collection all about instinct, exploring the performance of clothes, on and off the runway. As models took to a catwalk made of deep purple velvet to an original score by Venezuelan artist Arca, those in the audience were poised and ready to see what founder and creative director Jonny Johansson had in mind.
The opening look, a floaty silk long-sleeve top with a tie at the front paired with a tight black leather mini-skirt with a brown leather belt, was a fitting picture of what was to come in a collection mixing feminine pieces—silk, see-through fabrics in pastel green and pale yellow—with harsher pieces, such as boxy oversized leather jackets, deep brown leather mini dresses with lace-up detailing down the side, and tight mini dresses.
Mustard and tan were regular occurrences in the lineup and the colour of the season—a bright green—made an appearance alongside cerulean blue and deep purple pieces. A white lace bodysuit and cropped leather coset with floral embellishments were notable additions, with every look feeling wearable, while still being flirty and fun. Though undoubtedly influenced by the mood of the moment—there were corsets aplenty for anyone looking—Acne’s collection felt easy, timeless and uniquely itself.