Acne in the Wild West

Published September 18, 2012

“Yee-Haw!” is the spirit sought this season by Acne’s Johhny Johansson. Or at least, those were the yelps heard over the speakers during his Spring 2013 show in London on Sunday. The designer explained that his inspiration involved collage (“I always collage. It’s very important to me to have contrast and to turn that into something really interesting,” he said backstage) as well as music, specifically Emmylou Harris’s 1995 ditty, “Wrecking Ball.”

“I hear aesthetics when I hear that song,” explained Johansson. “I see women dressed in white on the plain and I see something that’s romantic but still urban.” His musical vision translated into new age Western gear, like rubber cowboy hats (apparently, Johansson found an old cowboy hat and created a mold to replicate it in plastic for the  collection), stand-alone leather collars in navy, camel, and black, and a gaucho trench with a luxe alligator pelt draped over its lapels. The designer also turned out denim gowns, some in neutral stripes, which were bound with leather buckles.  In fact, leather was a focus of the collection, featuring in jockey-paneled vests and jackets as well as accents.  As for his choice to use the material for spring, Johansson said, “I always do leather. I think leather is sexy. It’s hard, it’s cool. It’s like, denim and leather,  I mean, come on!” He’s got a point.