#SuzyLFW: JW Anderson’s Concept Of Stillness
Jonathan Anderson crossed a wall in his show – by removing narrow dividing screens that had been his method of presentation for the last few years. The earlier taut and claustrophobic seating areas were replaced by an open, circular space that changed both the atmosphere and reflected a shift in the designer’s attitude.
As though the JW Anderson brand had been untangled from the complications of its earlier shows, the circular runway was filled with simple dresses or tops and skirts. In fact, there were clever asymmetric cuts, cropped tops to expose the midriff and intriguing insertions, such as Irish linen tea cloths with ‘JW Anderson’ woven into them.
It all gave the impression of freshness and originality without any of the outfits – which came in interesting shades of magenta with wine, orange and sage green –looking too complex. That had previously been the designer’s fault line.
“It’s this idea that everything is circular, everything comes back around again,” said the Irish-born designer backstage. “I was looking at Claire McCardell, the 1940s American fashion designer, and this idea of how we have used clothing in the street from the thirties right to today,” the designer said. “What does that mean in terms of society and of recycling? There is this idea that when you put something out in the world it comes back round again. For me the idea was to keep everything grounded. And the idea of stillness. You know what I mean? Like a meditative idea that we continually go round. So no matter how hysterical things become, everything will have a ground level.”
Convoluted as this argument seemed, it made sense in the context of the JW Anderson show. A central rug, woven in the round, suggested infinity – while the tea towel hinted at recycling and thus the idea of fashion objects coming around again.
There might be just a touch of novelty, as in narrow silver chains in a shower from the shoulders or stitches defining the bust area. Similarly, soft sneakers were simple and ergonomic, but with chevron stitches edged around the sole. There was the same Navajo spirit in beaded string belts, and twinkly sequins gave a touch of flash to sporty clothes.
This was a breakthrough moment for Jonathan Anderson who started with menswear that appeared to be developed from women’s clothing back in 2008. Female fashion followed in 2010. Perhaps due to his other day job at Loewe – or because he is about to hit his first design decade – this show anchored his position, with grace, as a fine, modern designer.