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“Fashion seems to be in this in-between moment, where it’s referring to history and we’re trying to get to the future,” Acne Studios co-founder and creative director Jonny Johansson explained back in January. Back then the Stockholm-based designer was talking us through the past-future juxtaposition that inspired his autumn/winter 20 collection. The Paris show saw men’s and women’s collections side-by-side, divided by both a metaphorical and physical wall as possibility-pushing AI and algorithms contributed to the menswear – powered by a collaboration with the generative artist and graphic designer Robbie Barrat – the womenswear restored, renovated and repositioned Old Master artworks and the ornate furnishings of houses that no longer exist. Different approaches united by a questioning curiosity.
“We don’t know what’s coming next, we just know that something is coming,” Jonny explained cryptically. While that statement sparked curiosity then, it almost reads like a prophecy now. As we return to the collection eight months later, presented against the global pandemic backdrop that is continually forcing the fashion industry to collectively reach for the pause and reset buttons, the dualities between then and now, nostalgia and forward-thinking and traditional and innovation become all the more provocative. In lockdown, many of us are in this in-between moment. Our hopes, dreams and fears of the past, present and future are jumbled.
Photography Irene Cano.
Styling Stephanie Aelbrecht.
Models India and Zakaria @ Troy Casting.