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Acne

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HARSH + PRETTY

London: Although Acne was initially a jeans line when it debuted in 1996, creative director Jonny Johansson went on to launch a full collection in 1998. Judging from Acne’s most recent showing, the Swedish company has moved way beyond denim. In fact, the show this season seemed to revolve around the exploration of various textiles and their particular qualities, letting the garments express the characteristics of the materials used to make them. A fur jacket that was patchworked in an exaggerated manner looked both primitive and luxurious, and seemed to visually disassemble itself before the viewer’s eyes. The durability and practicality of heavy woven cotton was embodied in a jumpsuit with utility pockets covering every square inch. Warm yellow-browns and cool blue-grays added a pretty softness that balanced the raw aesthetic, and the overall effect was refreshing because the clothes didn’t just look edgy; they also seemed thoughtful. The harsh, brash energy of some of the pieces was immediately eye-catching, but one’s attention was kept because the concepts had substance.

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