In most circumstances, the term “distressed” tends to have negative connotations. Yet in the crazy and upside-down world of fashion, it can often be a good thing — when talking about clothing, at least.

For Jonny Johansson’s Acne Studios and garments, it’s most certainly the latter.

Presenting on the third day of Paris Fashion Week FW23, the Swedish outfit showcased how exactly distressed can be good amidst an enchanted setting, inside a room designed to replicate the beauty of the natural world, but through a city-tinted lens.

Models meandered through hanging crystal foliage and winding tree trunks set to soft, ambient music from avant-garde electronic composer Sarahsson, clad in woolen coats, slip dresses, and leather sets all of which arrived lovingly pre-distressed, so much so in some cases that they were hanging by a thread, literally.

While a distressed look of any severity might be hard for the traditionalist to wrap their heads around (“why would you buy something that looks like it’s already been worn?” my dad would likely say), Johansson describes it as “a rejection of the hyperreal look of digital fashion.”

When garments weren’t distressed (let’s say they were content), they were instead exaggerated. Take the plethora of wrapped outerwear or the oversized blazers, for example.

All in all, Acne Studios FW23 is proof (as if fashion needed any) that distress isn’t necessarily a bad thing these days, and that if used in the right way, any pre-loved garment will tell more of a story than an unscathed product ever could.