One year after the Gateway time, this season’s London fashion show, Post-Brexit Vote, Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, a few days before this warm, danky January, no doubt there are stressful designers creating collections Reflecting this socio-political backdrop and managing to cheer us up. JW Anderson may be overwhelmingly stressful, arguably the most international designer in the UK, and they often break borders like branches.
The program itself, in a sophisticated upscale room, rushes in the model from the corner and then disappears in the case of brushing the knees, the audience with various knit decorations – no grade, interactive atmosphere, promoting the community you want in the damp One Sunday morning, when a need for visual stimulation.
Luckily, Anderson did not succumb to stress-induced happiness, the 2017 Fall Winter Collection was one of his most reference-dense, bright, sometimes stupid or highly sophisticated products. Some of the styles are so complex – one with seven different fabrics including a disco sequin and an orange scarf to make the model look like funny – you can blame Mr. Anderson for showing off. However, oversized sweaters, cut, color and texture are more popular over the past 12 months.
Anderson’s debut collection was shown three years after he graduated, in 2008. When he started, critics were confused. Some reviews were dire and he would have been forgiven for giving up. But in the last seven years, despite shifting his attention to Loewe, the Spanish luxury house where he is also creative director, and working on various collaborations (recently some nice nude shots of beautiful men with the photographer Alasdair McLellan), he has become a nonpareil designer and one of the most recognisable.
His high-end-meets commercial look is now fixed as the Anderson aesthetic. This is thanks, also, to working with the same team who know him inside out and who understand this aesthetic, which is revised each season but is always hinged around the technical, the prints, references and the styling.
His wild catwalk looks are often the sum of simple, accessible standalone items. In his latest show, the hemming together of crochet, shearling, comically long scarves and – perhaps the only bum note – strange flappy slippers was a lot to digest. It’s not beautiful, rather at times inflated and excessive, but when you unpack it, piece by piece, his designs are accessible, wearable and beautifully crafted. It is easy to be distracted by the giant grey coats with contrasting cream knitted sleeves, and miss a pair of perfectly cut black tailored trousers underneath.
His itch for detail was keenly on show: raw hems, slim neckerchiefs, serpent scales on the back of trench coats and, barely visible, small square applique panels with red and white ballot box crosses stitched into the crochet. Anderson’s famous Pierce bag was revived again, this time swinging in multicoloured crochet. Navy leather piping was slotted neatly on to a shearling jacket. The prints were fun if inexplicably chosen – finely drawn versions of Studio Ghibli-style landscapes printed on to shirts and imagery from medieval French stained glass windows printed on to raw cut denim.
The most obvious change is that he is far from any gender mix, and Anderson is known. In this example the feel is more neutral, the warm colors, and the crochet explosions in the RB base tower according to the tone. The closest skirt is a crocheted apron worn on the pants. Anderson called the model “The Ladies Tour”, although this tour feels more like a vacant year in East Asia than a short trip to Holy Land.
Anderson is one of the few designers who built a recognizable way for him to open the references – and if these collections were not related to Christopher Kane and Raf Simons, he decided to avoid the trend and go his own way. Perhaps, a good creative director of the logo.
Northern Ireland designers focus on a variety of conflicting ideas that the artists David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield are influential and the importance of “British street craft” – pointing to Crochet – that he is afraid of losing .
But this is his thinking seems to be the most pressing stratification, namely: “I want the layer in the layer, as a defense mechanism,” he said. “Oversize elements … it will create a lazy protection. Knitty, comfortable, a familiar feeling … a loving atmosphere.”
He described the overall appearance of a fashionable uterus as “lost” and perhaps only a flamboyant description of the subject quite accurately tied together, reminding us that we might also need some protection from this year’s event.