We should have known from the appetizers that this was going to be a rather adult presentation. Fruit and sausages arranged in the shape of genitalia is probably a pretty good sign that something is up. Actually, it was a hint at the prints used in the collection. Still, there is a suggestive nature here that rides carefully along that line of almost becoming offensive.
Jonny Johansson’s spring/summer didn’t really seem all that risque when it started with a masculine styled suite with sleeveless jacket. Not wearing anything under the suit jacket is a relatively common move in fashion; one we’ve already seen a couple of times this morning. Models were wearing scarves around their necks. No big deal, right?
Then, the accessory at the neck switched to a lock and chain. Red flag. Never mind that the combination was rather cute. This is a well-known symbol within the BDSM community for a submissive person “kept” by a dominant “master.” The next look was that print.
One has to look close to see what’s up. At first glance, one sees fruit and flowers. No problem with that, right? But then you look again, notice how the fruit and flowers are arranged so as to infer sex acts. Yes, sex acts. On the clothes. In front of everyone. But, they’re fruit and flowers, not people so it’s all safe and legal. Sort of. It took a moment for the assembled crowd to figure out the print design. When they did, there was a collection of nervous giggles and a few shocked gasps from the Americans. Parisians didn’t understand why anyone was making such a big deal.
Not every piece contains the print, of course. In fact, most pieces don’t. There’s also a bit of a 70s vibe with broad collars and flared legs in the pants. Everything is moderately fitted, more tight right at the hips, and there’s even a lovely sculpted yellow dress with a large ruffle along the sleeve. Still, the number of plunging and open necklines was considerable and where the neckline didn’t plunge the top was often sheer. And for every look there was some subtle hint at erotica, including strings on a leather jacket that loosely resemble bondage ties.
The final look in the collection is a blue towel wrapped around the body.
I have to wonder whether American buyers will order anything with that print. As puritan as some communities are, the fact that it is fruit and flowers on the print is irrelevant to what they suggest. Jonny may have a tough sell on his hands. If one doesn’t understand the erotic symbolism, the clothes look perfectly fine, but one just might receive some unexpected questions they’re not quite sure how to answer. I won’t say this Acne Studios collection crosses a line, but it most certainly comes pretty close.
Photo credit: Regis Colin Berthelier