JW Anderson never fails to steal the hearts of London Fashion Week’s glitterati. Under the watchful eye of Jonathan Anderson, today’s show unfolded with a presentation that continued to make the showgoers smile — look after look, Anderson proved his stature in the UK fashion scene as the leading designer of the season.
And it wasn’t just us who were impressed. A packed-to-the-rafters Camden Roundhouse saw smiles light up on the faces of Kit Connor, Romy, Charli XCX, and Ncuti Gatwa, all of whom came to support their dear friend Jonathan Anderson. To many, JW Anderson feels like a friendly face, a reminder that there is a break from the Devil Wears Prada-esque attitudes of the “fashun scene, darling.” He does so with collections that don’t take themselves too seriously, and SS24 Women’s was that and more.
It commenced with three matching looks, comprising a hoodie and shorts. Only here, Anderson had taken learnings from his tenure as LOEWE’s leader and applied it at his eponymous House, crafting this look from stiff, reduced-aesthetic clay that almost looked like wax. It was sculptural, devoid of any movement or silhouette, purposely not fitting the model because it just did not matter.
His frequent use of puff-ified materials was also at the forefront of this collection. Bin bags were transformed into electric blue tops and ripe orange trousers, knotted on the shoulder much like the designer’s previous collection presented in the Soho casino, or on some of his signature bags.
Feathers billowed from oversized bomber jackets and on the hems of tank tops tucked into cargo pants (very Harry Styles if you ask us). And those cargo pants… puffy too, with their trouser bottoms ballooned as if they were stuffed with the aforementioned feathers. Such cohesiveness is JW Anderson’s party piece: while alone some pieces might seem quite artistically free and wild, together they make for a statement outfit that screams of having fun and not taking yourself too seriously — even if your clothes are very seriously well-designed and considered.
This was apparent with suede blazers that, like the opening looks, were sans-movement. It’s a study of formality, decoded with elements of deconstructing and reducing the garment to its most elemental form, before adding a touch of toy-like behaviour to a piece, and thus the wearer. Likewise, polly pocket dresses were made in rigid loom band-like loops, while House codes like the Bumper was applied to the underside of a dress, giving it regal undertones cut in a more contemporary, relaxed jersey.
It’s subversive, but not to the point of subversion for the sake of it. No, Jonathan Anderson is a master of his craft, and pairs all this with a range of crocheted Bumper Bags, round-toe mules and loafers, pump heels, and more. All the while, a rendition of Cher’s “Believe” is playing. What fun this all was indeed.
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