subcultural armour 

Oiled-up mechanics and full-throttle bikers: Acne Studios was a leather and denim dream
By Ella Joyce | Fashion | 29 February 2024

Acne Studios’ love affair with denim and leather has lasted the test of time; the two materials have been integral to Jonny Johansson’s design world since the beginning, and this season only solidified their permanence. A subcultural armour that stretches from punk gigs to fetish clubs, denim and leather’s innate sense of empowerment was the focal point for the Swedish designer’s latest offering.

In a fitting accompaniment to the brand’s turbo-charged collection, recycled tyres reworked into large, twisting sculptures by artist Villu Jaanisoo populated the runway as models weaved between the towering shapes. Refashioning traditional codes saw silhouettes take futuristic forms, toying with contradictions in an all-or-nothing play on proportions that allowed garments to be stretched or shrunken to playful proportions. Outerwear was elongated and sharp-shouldered, and corsets cinched, bum-skimming hot pants met floor-length knitted dresses, asymmetrically zipped and hooded. Traditional forms of feminity were imbued with toughness as mesh and boning were visible on the outside of garments, knitwear was cropped to the bust and shearling coats were worn with nothing beneath.

Johansson ensured the versatility of his two chosen materials was on full display as distressed leather was fashioned into an oversized two-piece or polished to create structured mini dresses. Denim was given a mechanical makeover, appearing oil-coated and distressed in floor-skimming figures. Speaking on the collection, Johansson said; “When you want to feel tough you gravitate towards leather and denim; it’s like armour. It always feels right. An empowering safety zone.”

GALLERYCatwalk images from Acne Studios WOMENS-FALL-WINTER-24