J.W. Anderson’s self-indulgent chic
London fashion's most fertile contemporary mind, Jonathan Anderson, was on display in a novel, if somewhat slight, collection presented Wednesday from the UK-born designer.
A collection slashed, holed and carved up, an idea inspired by his teenage sister who used to cut T-shirts in her youth.
“Back then, you used to be able to buy kits with plastic beads to do it,” laughed Anderson post-show.
The result were knit top reduced to barely 20 fettuccine-shaped strips of fabric for gents; or for girls in this co-ed show silk tops with baseball-sized holes trimmed with crystals. Other guys appeared in crochet-style patchwork cardigans with matching shorts, like “blown-up mosaics” in the designer’s words.
“Clothes that looked passed down. A modernity in the wrongness,” said Anderson after the show, staged in Galeries Lafayettes’ art space in the Marais. At its center, a marvelous Heath Robinson-worthy metal artistic chicken coop with delightful moving parts.
Half the cast attired in knitted Moor of Venice headbands. Felted clogs and garlanded flips-flops all looked like sure fired hits; as did the gold and silver crushed metallic totes. Indeed, Anderson’s whole recent success has been built on an uncanny ability to create quirk yet practical accessories. Of which there were many in this show.
Even when he did cover things up – with a series of bravura smoking jackets, models of exaggerated cutting, faintly Christ-like in their proportions – Jonathan still revealed plenty of flesh. Sleeveless morning dress or white tuxedos with Jesuit sleeves.
“After the woman’s shows in London with 40 silhouettes and blowing up proportions. I wanted to carry that through to men’s. Though this time, to make it very blunt. A fashion proposition not a styling one,” expounded Anderson, who stages his next show for luxury conglomerate LVMH’s major Spanish label Loewe on Saturday in UNESCO.
Today’s signature show attracted not one but three LVMH presidents; Anderson’s own CEO Jenny Galimberti; Serge Brunschwig of Fendi and the conglomerate’s fashion group honcho Sidney Toledano. A compliment to Anderson’s standing in the group.
That said, this all rather felt too experimental, even a tad self-indulgent by Anderson. Clever but not terribly wearable clothes, by a designer, one cannot help but notice, who never wears any of his own runway clothes when he takes his bow. Try telling that to Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, Yohji Yamamoto or Ralph Lauren.
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