The collection was inspired by “the night out that never happened,” said Jonathan Anderson, who was thinking about all the club kids stuck inside with nowhere to go but online — to TikTok, WhatsApp or YouTube – and socialize as best they can in the age of COVID-19.
Turns out that Anderson didn’t have his big club night either. He was forced to cancel his physical show at Milan’s Teatro Principe due to COVID-19 concerns, and ended up filming the men’s fall and women’s pre-fall collection at Scala, a club near London’s King’s Cross station, and posting it on Sunday night during Milan men’s week.
Anderson described this collection as “a bit silly, a bit fun,” with clothes that have a life of their own, make noises or look a little off, as in a polo shirt stretched into a minidress with a spiraling, bouncy hemline; sweaters embellished with little mirrors, or what looked like giant Fruit Loops; or a top made from colored rubber wristbands that make a noise when they’re snapped.
All the movement and sound effects were a nod to the online popularity of ASMR, autonomous, sensory, meridian response, or brain massage, brought on by repetitive sounds such as whispers, or crinkling foil. There was more from the sound department, too, including inflatable bags, and sequins that make a sound when they’re swept from side to side.
It was a terrific collection, full of energy and dark glamour, unfurling in an underground club with red walls and smoke spilling down the staircase. Silliness came in the shape of an oversize denim coat dress that was on some kind of growth hormone; undulating hemlines for knee-skimming coats in gray flannel or shearling; a tsunami of sequins on everything from an animal pattern minidress to a sporty polo-and-shorts combo; and an elephant motif with phallic trunk.
This was a festival of the absurd, a funhouse of fashion, a show of illusion that was spot on for these stop-start times of government restrictions, and free-floating fear; when it doesn’t seem so weird to be striding around in a suggestive, elephant-embellished sweater dress, or a metallic silver onesie for a big night out, even if it’s indoors.