It is a sign of the ever-growing prestige of Jonny Johansson's Acne label that its latest Spring 2012 catwalk show closed not only the Paris collections, but the menswear season as a whole. Fittingly, it underlined the emergent themes of the season with an easy-to-wear slant. And, in a season of jocks in frocks, skorts and far too many too-little teeny-weeny bikini briefs, it's nice to see fashionable boys wearing something decent for a change.
The seventies have underscored the season - and they roamed wild again at Acne, with long pointed collars, chunky craft-knits and off mixes of colour. Peach, against khaki, against lemon, against chalky baby blue, with the crisp sheen of drip-dry nylon thrown in to boot. Creative director Johansson said he was looking at functionalism and Swedish purity, and indeed at the decade that taste forgot when denim culture was really introduced to Scandinavia. Although rest assured, taste was never forgotten here - even those elephant-ear collars were reigned in, looking wearable rather than wacky. Cycling shorts came close, but even they managed to remain in the real world rather than fashion's fantasyland of male style. Johansson was inspired by sports, he said - what could be more everyday everyman than that?
That's probably the main appeal of this collection: the fact that you could easily imagine every man, everywhere wearing at least one piece. The viscose and polyester sportswear may be an acquired fashion-forward taste, but the slim trousers abbreviated at the ankle, slender suits and sleek sweaters were the very definition of a streamlined modern wardrobe. And at the end of a fashion month that has often cloyed with half-baked concepts, it was refreshing to see something so focussed, realised and realistic.