It was a moment of reflection for Jonathan Anderson, who looked back on his archive and spliced it with the colors and images created by one of his heroes, the pioneering dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, who married classical dance with pop culture.
That explained the big, green Pop Art penis on the show invitation and the giant Coca-Cola style billboards that read “Enjoy God’s Disco. Is there nightlife after death?” that were sitting in the middle of the show venue, the Roundhouse in Camden.
Twitchy-fingered guests couldn’t resist taking selfies or posing for pictures in front of the billboards, but it was all in the spirit of show. Anderson’s focus was on Clark’s bright and graphic iconography, rather than his choreography, and he wanted to relay his passion to the world.
Clark, who was in the audience, said he was “thrilled and honored” that Anderson found his work inspirational. “That’s the point. I couldn’t be more happy.”
As he reflected upon Clark’s work, Anderson also looked back at his own archive, pulling designs and elements from each year since he launched the business in 2008.
“It was fun. I found it a really liberating process. When I see old things, I usually hate them so it was nice to try to improve them somehow,” said the designer, who also sent out looks that were never put into production.
These silhouettes were all wearable, a reminder of just how commercially minded Anderson has always been. Unlike his London peers who often launch collections at luxury price points, Anderson positioned his signature label as a contemporary brand from the get-go.
There were dresses galore: strapless corduroy styles with asymmetric hems; languid ones with draping and cutout details around the shoulder, and cozy sweaters with pencil skirts and thick, fuzzy belts at the waist.
Anderson rediscovered his inner Flintstone, too, sending out faux fur strapless corset tops with built-in muffs; a stole made from what looked like a pile of raccoon tails, and trousers — long and short — with raggedy edges.
Little leather miniskirts bound with straps recalled Raquel Welch‘s deerskin bikini bottom from the 1966 film “One Million Years B.C.” It was a fitting (if unintended) tribute to the actress, who died last Wednesday, aged 82.
Clark’s colors and images appeared as neon feather boas jazzing up the corduroy dresses; as silver sequins encrusted on the sleeves of papery shirts, and in the sculptural hoodie with zipper details that Anderson tossed over one of his minimalist dresses.
The cocooning hoodie was utilitarian, elegant and a nod to the hardworking dancer who started the designer on his journey.