Launching this week, MR PORTER present their eveningwear capsule collection with Acne – for the beaus of the winter balls.
Click images to enlarge.
Maybe it’s all the tuxes they go through during those fancy Nobel Prize dinners or perhaps it’s just their long winter nights, but the Swedes seem to know a thing or two about eveningwear. So much so that Acne – Sweden’s almighty fashion force – recently approached the sartorial British authorities at MR PORTER for a creative alliance in the name of the black tie. “I like the tuxedo; it’s a feminine uniform for men. Let’s think of a classic little black dress for men,” Acne’s Jonny Johansson says of the formal uniform. This week, the Acne x MR PORTER eveningwear capsule collection launches exclusively on the digital emporium. i-D online shot the collection – which covers everything from a velvet tuxedo to bow ties and shoes – and Q&A’ed MR PORTER buyer par excellence, Sam Lobban, about the collaboration.
Who came up with the idea to do the capsule collection? It came about from a conversation in the Acne Paris showroom, during our AW12 appointment. We wanted to do something special together, and the idea of Acne’s take on traditional eveningwear was really exciting. The return of the tuxedo and chic formal dressing feels very right for this winter, and we wanted to do something with Acne’s trademark cool, sophisticated but easy aesthetic.
Why are MR PORTER and Acne such a good team? I think Acne and MR PORTER conceptually and aesthetically work amazingly well together – we share the same ideals about menswear as wearable, masculine clothing but with a very real point of interest. Acne make clothes that any guy can wear, but with massive attention to detail and putting their own slant on things.
Why does Acne lend itself so well to eveningwear? Eveningwear is at once very masculine but with touches of femininity. A guy in a full tux, going to a black tie event is a very traditional masculine image but really in its luxuriousness it has an element of peacockish dandy. Acne are very much about taking very traditional points of menswear and adding touches of femininity and flair. The masculinity is in the confidence in dressing, rather than directly in the clothing.
How was the working process? I worked super closely with Martin Gjesing in Acne’s sales and Christoffer Lundman, the Head of Menswear Design, and of course Jonny Johansson oversees everything Acne put out creatively and was very much involved in the project.
Are we seeing an end to men renting their tuxedos? Men are taking note of every aspect of their style now, and the idea of renting a tuxedo doesn’t really fit into that. In a very formal and special situation, which deems you to look your best, guys want to be in control of this and are definitely investing as such. I don’t think reading ‘black tie’ on an invite means, “I’ll just rent whatever I can find.”
How often do you wear tuxedos yourself? I’m all about dressing up for events, so really it’s as and when needed for me. Generally I have the rule of ‘If in doubt go over-dressed’ – you never want to be the guy in jeans and trainers whilst everyone us in the room is super slick. At the moment I have one tuxedo, but once we launch the Acne collection I’ll definitely have a few more!
As sartorial experts, where do you stand at MR PORTER on men using eveningwear elements in daywear? Combining eveningwear with daywear has to be done right, I think. It needs to be rock ’n’ roll or not at all. Really, I think the tuxedo works best when it is what it is, and that is a full tuxedo.
How religiously should we follow dress codes? Dress codes on invitations are about setting the tone of an event. How the attendees are dressed will have an impact on the atmosphere of the whole evening, so I think they should always be followed and of course pushed forwards. In pushing the boundaries, I think it should always be deeper into the idea of ‘eveningwear’, burgundy velvets, smoking jackets, velvet slippers and so on – not the other way and doing skinny black jeans and a tuxedo jacket.
Text: Anders Christian Madsen
Photography: Jeff Hahn
Styling: Madeleine Østlie
Hair: Hiroshi Matsushita
Model: Zach at Select Model Management
All clothes by Acne x MR PORTER