Acne Studios celebrates ten years in Paris with a ‘twisted’ pink wedding

Featuring pink satin sheets and shell-encrusted candelabras, Acne Studios’ S/S 2023 set was inspired by kitsch wedding archetypes. Acne Studios creative director Jonny Johansson and collaborator nail artist Sylvie Macmillan tell Wallpaper* more

The Acne Studios S/S 2023 show set at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, with candelabras by Sylvie Macmillan on platforms with pink sheets and pillows on them.
The Acne Studios S/S 2023 show set at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo, with candelabras by Sylvie Macmillan.
(Image credit: Courtesy of Acne Studios)

Rumpled satin sheets, shell-encrusted candelabras – Acne Studios celebrated ten years of showing in Paris last night with a ‘twisted wedding party’, an all-pink set providing the backdrop for a S/S 2023 collection that revelled in the kitsch archetypes of romantic nuptials. 

‘It’s the ten-year anniversary for us in terms of showing in Paris, and I thought that maybe we should be reflecting on that,’ says founder and creative director Jonny Johansson of showing during Paris Fashion Week S/S 2023. He originally brought the Stockholm-based label to show in the city as part of a collaboration with Musée de la Mode in 2012 (the S/S 2013 collection featured scans from the museum’s archive by artist Katerina Jebb). 

‘The most iconic event I could come up with is the wedding. For me, it’s the kickstart to a lot of aesthetic choices – what’s the most interesting event that people are used to participating in, to celebrate something?’

A candelabra by Sylvie Macmillan for Acne Studios S/S 2023 show set between platforms with pink sheets and pillows on them.

A candelabra by Sylvie Macmillan for Acne Studios S/S 2023 show set.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Acne Studios)

Selecting Palais de Tokyo for the occasion – ‘an emblematic Paris institution’ – the show space was rendered entirely in pink, a colour now synonymous with the label (the particular shade found on its shopping bags and store designs is referred to as ‘Acne Studios pink’). ‘I thought it was interesting to work with a colour that was so unpopular, at the time no one liked it, everyone called it “millennial” pink,’ says Johansson. ‘[We wanted to] take it out of that context, do the opposite of everyone else and actually celebrate it and use it as part of our DNA.’

The shell-covered candelabras were created in collaboration with London-based nail artist Sylvie Macmillan, whose other-worldly manicures – often featuring surreal embellishments, from plaited loaves of bread to miniature sculpted fragments of Michaelangelo's David – have seen her collaborate with numerous fashion labels and publications, as well as musicians Arca and Rosalía. 

‘A couple of summers ago I did a month-long project making shell- and obsidian-covered candelabras and selling them to raise money for charity. They were all relatively small tabletop ones made from shells bought off eBay or donated by friends and family who had their own collections,’ she explains. 

A female model wearing a long sleeveless dress with hearth shapes attached to it.

Acne Studios S/S 2023.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Acne Studios)

‘Business with nails continued as usual, so the candelabra project came to a halt until I got a call from Acne Studios; someone from their office had seen my work, which I was surprised about considering the candelabra Instagram account only has about 300 followers. Working with Acne Studios gave me the opportunity to elaborate on the designs I had created before, working at a much bigger scale, with totally different structures and shell species.’

She says that the candelabras’ shapes are designed to evoke coral – ‘I wanted the shells to appear as if they had somehow grown out of the piece or clung to it.’ She adds, ‘I looked at the way that barnacles and limpets hold to rocks and shipwrecks. Shell-embellished pieces are nothing new, though the shells are normally applied in a relatively formulaic way, I wanted to do the opposite.’

The party was completed with Acne Studios’ take on the traditional wedding band, ‘avant-harp’ collective Leya & Eartheater. 

A coral shaped candelabra covered with sea shells by Sylvie Macmillan for Acne Studios S/S 2023 show set.

A candelabra by Sylvie Macmillan for Acne Studios S/S 2023 show set.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Acne Studios)

‘I wanted to put a spin on the classic, kitschy wedding, referencing everything from the tablecloth to the chandelier, the wedding-night bed sheets, the bride’s shoes, the bows, and the cute flowers,’ says Johansson of the collection itself, whose own nuptials took place almost 20 years prior (presenting his S/S 2023 menswear collection earlier in the year, which also was inspired by the wedding ceremony, he said he regretted wearing a classic black suit).

‘There is something cute, kitschy, sweet about weddings,’ he says, noting he still feels pressure showing in Paris, ten years on. ‘But also something serious and vulnerable.’

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*, joining the team in 2022. Having previously been the digital features editor at AnOther and digital editor at 10 and 10 Men magazines, he has also contributed to titles including i-D, Dazed, 10 Magazine, Mr Porter’s The Journal and more, while also featuring in Dazed: 32 Years Confused: The Covers, published by Rizzoli. He is particularly interested in the moments when fashion intersects with other creative disciplines – notably art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and reporting from international fashion weeks. Across his career, he has interviewed the fashion industry’s leading figures, including Rick Owens, Pieter Mulier, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, Christian Lacroix, Kate Moss and Manolo Blahnik.