PARIS, France — Ingenuity and naivety are wonderful qualities to reconsider, especially in the midst of contemporary cynicism. Acting childlike might actually be a political stance altogether, nowadays: replacing spontaneity with the urge to pose and play make-believe. Why not?
Such preoccupations were probably far from Johnny Johansson's intentions when he designed the Acne Studios collection that he presented today in the cavernous underbelly of a bank. He is a designer, after all, not a socio-political commentator. He does not aspire to take up that role. Yet, the youthful optimism of this outing was resonant. Naivety was the byword, and not just because prints and jacquards were directly culled from elementary school drawings. The shapes looked both bold and simple, a little obvious and a tad abstract, as if a ten-year-old had taken the lead role in the design studio. It worked. Needless conceptualism of past seasons was thrown out of the window. Admittedly, the general air of craftiness had a taste of Loewe, but the painterly colors and the Nordic cool were totally Acne. The show presentation worked as a good format, too: fast and effective.