You Can Still Smell The Paint At Acne Studio's New West Village Store
In a street-level space that’s all angles - it was designed by a British architect, explains a sales associate in a razor-pressed shirt and fittingly Dickension accent – hangs loot with real curves, pinstriped sportscoats featuring rounded shoulders, a diaphanous turtleneck gathered in balloony darts, suede pumps with pointy-toes but in a color so dreamily blue that you can’t help but think of James McAvoy’s eyeballs.
This juxtaposition is quintessentially Acne Studios, a Swedish label that for years now has been casually throwing together pieces that are both impossibly trendy and stoically classic, sexy and matronly, unbearably cool and reassuringly approachable. And all of these contradictions are perfectly distilled into their week-old West Village store, whose stern lines and hard white lighting stand no chance whatsoever against the powder-pink belted coat hanging in a corner, lightly tufted and softer than our month-old niece’s bum.
Also lightening the mood is a flock of friendly staff who hand out bottles of branded water while chatting about the gorgeous weather, the cotton cording on a just-in Resort 2016 linen-denim skirt and the best muffins in the neighborhood (not that you should be seeking those out, especially if you want to fit into that skirt).
Despite the hard sell we are drawn instantaneously to another skirt, cut from pewtered felt with very sharp scissors; and a pale motorcycle jacket that seems distressingly susceptible to spills. More practical are black pumps built on sturdy metallic heels meant to invoke smashed soda cans, wear-everywhere leather pants and burly bags made from thick, grainy leather in robin’s blue and sunshine yellow, dessert-inspired colors blooming against a desert-bleached palette.
What Lies Beneath
Be sure to scratch behind the surface on your visit, because concealed behind clandestine cladding and thick concrete are deep drawers filled with Acne’s reliable collection of jeans, acid washed and inky blue, skinny and boyfriend, ripped and roomy; as well as generous fitting rooms that are a vast improvement from their cramped counterparts on Greene Street, tricked out with flattering mirrors and weird, half-melting chairs that seem to be dripping with sugary white icing.
Currently, we are perched on one such chair and contemplating our reflection, weighing for a loaded moment the fluid, flattering lines of a licorice-colored midi dress against the depressing flatness of our end-of-the-year bank account: this, dear reader, is the final, least enjoyable and ultimately unavoidable contradiction of a visit to the newest outpost of Acne Studios, packed with merchandise that is wincingly expensive but so, so covetable.
You have been warned.
Getting there: 54-60 Eight Avenue, call +1212.633.0002, visit www.acnestudios.com, $340 for a woolen black turtleneck that you can essentially live in.