#SuzyLFW: JW Anderson – From Mountains To Ankles
How to describe the work of JW Anderson? Melted tailoring perhaps? Or liquid drapes? Or hard hats above and a mash-up below? The designer with a sense of crisp tailoring and a loquacious gift of the Irish gab, produced a powerful show as the fast-and-furious London Fashion Week moved towards its end.
“How do you strip out noise from fashion?” The designer asked himself, referring to his starting point looking at clouds and mountains, then at British textures which he re-worked. The new effect was what he called “the dramatic baseball cap” sitting like a “fascinator”, almost detached from the head.
The result? A calm, streamlined collection with much of JW’s “noise” stripped away, a simple set, rather than an elaborated display of arty objects. Then there were loose trousers that were also a lesson in ease.
“It’s based on an early Oxford baggy trouser from the Twenties – the look when they were actually designed not just for men but for women,” said the designer.
He continued: “In gabardine, they looked good as the crispness gives it a city vibe. And those characters who stood out in life ultimately made fashion so interesting.”
Jonathan Anderson always has a lot of words. But this season he also had a lot of clothes re-interpreted from their original English wearers. Some would require vast coat hangers as the shoulders were cut so bold and broad. The complex wrappings which had once complicated the designer’s collections were now much more simple.
“I felt that it was the moment to pick out those pieces and re-interpret them, so with your hand in a jacket, you can pull it through into a pocket to keep the shoulder rounded,” he said.
The designer protested too much about the complexity of his work, which was often elegant and simple – including the opening cape that lit a memory that the designer started his career in menswear.
Now his liquid tailoring melting into something draped and soft was both highly sophisticated and super wearable. Think of a wool top with soft sleeves joined to a pale tourmaline skirt that spilled over leather boots, where tulle often peeped out of the bottom of the trouser. What did it mean?
“You know, there is something very seductive about ankles,” the designer said.