What a difference a month can make in the prolific world of Jonathan Anderson. No sooner had the designer paraded his men’s and pre-fall collections in Paris — a mix of Mod and medieval peasant in a darkened room — than he was already onto something brighter and more opulent.
“Fashion has to — we have to — keep evolving. JW Anderson is not about going from one thing to the next. It is about polar opposites, and I felt like this collection was quite grounded, a bit mineral-like. I wanted to strip the noise out, and focus on clothing, fashion, style — and looking at British textures,” the designer mused backstage.
Anderson’s runway, which is usually dotted with art installations, was spare this time: Just a plush white carpet dotted with rocks meant to mimic mountain peaks, as if the models were walking through the clouds. But there was nothing airy-fairy about this collection. The focus was on soft structures, functionality — and the odd imperfection.
Dresses were soft-edged, and looked as if they’d been created from bits of an aristocratic granny’s couture wardrobe. Some were made from pleats and long drapes, while others were adorned with garlands of wrinkly fabric, rows of twisted knots or abstract silvery brooches.
Outerwear had a timeless feel, too, as in a red and blue check coat with a detachable panel at the front, or a taupe coat-cape hybrid. The spare, gray collared cape that opened the show would work as well for a stylish ramble across the Yorkshire moors as it would for a stroll across Hyde Park for lunch at Claridge’s.
Anderson worked hard on his knits, too. Some of them were supersized, and showcased paisley patterns while others were stretched into long and lean tunic tops. He whipped others into skinny and bright belted dresses with lots of fabric frothing from the wrists and hems. A bit eccentric, but Anderson said he liked the idea of pleating gone wrong, and of cutting through knits with meters of fabric. “It’s an awkward elegance,” he said.