Old, new, local, global — Jonathan Anderson was ready for a change, swapping London for Paris and live-streaming his runway show on the brand’s new Chinese language web site. The collection, with its medieval peasant mood and jarring, incongruous elements, also marked the first time that Anderson designed his men’s and women’s collections together, with pieces from pre-fall 2019 making a debut on a runway covered in what looked like volcanic ash.
Models walked in a dark room under suspended plastic globes; Anderson said he was going for a “backlit” feel and looking to mimic 2-D images on an iPhone screen. They wore snood-like hoods that recalled the monastery, cutout herringbone coats with ribbed knit panels and lots of layers and textures, including long and breezy cotton shirts, knitted tunics, and chunky sweaters with thick, floppy tabs.
Shearling tippets and long scarves had a raw feel, as did hiking boots covered in shaggy cowhide and contrasting animal prints. Anderson described the collection as “a bit pagan,” and impromptu, adding that he wanted to toss together unrelated things, hence the mismatched shoes and socks, drawstring shorts layered over trousers and swooshing fringes and upholstery tassels dangling from coat and trouser hems and dripping from sweater cuffs.
Women’s pieces were more Mod than medieval, with colored polka dots and stripes on long, sparkly dresses or shorter ones with thick rippling hems. Other dresses and tops were pleated, with long white pussy bows and sometimes came in multiple fabrics and patterns. Both collections were fun, although not many customers will go for the bloomers, while those comically long fringes will no doubt get in the way of eating, drinking, making merry — or taking selfies.
Anderson also sent out glammed up versions of the chunky-soled Run Star Hike, part of his ongoing collaboration with Converse. The original, which debuted last September and dropped as a limited-edition on the JW Anderson web site on Wednesday, sold out within minutes, according to the company.