JW Anderson's ephemeral journey
today Sep 16, 2019
Fashion shows might be just be a selection of clothes and accessories but in the hands of talented designers they can become timely statements on mores and obsessions. Which was very much the case at a great collection from the house of JW Anderson staged with craft and gusto Monday lunchtime in London.
It all contained the latest revamping of Jonathan Anderson’s signature ideas, most notably his undulating dresses; kicky tailoring; offbeat espadrilles and cunning arty bags.
Made in silver, ecru, blotchy polkadot and gold lamé, Anderson’s dresses for spring 2020 were cut asymmetrically and with handkerchief helms. All with lots of attention paid to the bosom. Every second breast was encircled with pearls, like jewelry worn as armor.
“The ideas was daisy flowers; something we got from looking at '60s Bazaar issues,” explained, rather surprisingly, Anderson.
He also added lots of stylish jackets and town-coats, cut with tuxedo lapels and semi-voluminous shapes, and with elongated dhoti style trousers that almost blended into the raffia-trimmed espadrilles.
“Looking at tailoring that is blown up, like Marie Antoinette, exaggerated. But then you deflate. Increasing something and then pulling the plug on it,” commented the designer backstage, pulling his hands way apart for emphasis.
Add in two sensational mannish double-breasted coats – one in black and the other in silver – with huge cardinal’s sleeves, and this was a sumptuous display.
The Northern Irishman again used his preferred London show-space, a Yeomanry House, a small military warehouse near Russell Square. Some 300 guests packed, sardine-like, into four tight rows of bleachers. For Anderson remains the hottest show on the London calendar, and on the basis of this show, deservedly so.
The centerpiece was by Canadian artist Liz Magor, which played with the idea of ephemera - old dolls, rope, toys or reliquaries all contained in scores of transparent boxes.
“What she was trying to say was about the experience of looking. How we perceive things like texture and jewelry. Noise cancellation, and focusing of silhouette again. Looking at nostalgia and how it can important and yet dangerous. Why fashion is important in terms of being focused,” continued the ever-voluble designer.
In the front-row, Anderson’s ultimate boss, Sidney Toledano, had a double date. The CEO of the LVMH Fashion Group was perched between Anna Wintour and Teruyo Yanai, the wife of the owner of Uniqlo – where Anderson has staged several very happening collaborations. Anna wore one of her many silk mid-length dresses; Teruyo came in a biker jacket and French fisherman’s jersey.
“Great collection, no?” beamed Toledano, who became a grandfather this summer.
Yes, Sidney, this was a great collection.