Jonathan Anderson sent out his final show-in-a-box presentation, this time featuring a 2022 calendar of semi-naked Juergen Teller self-portraits. That’s correct — it is the famous snapper in nothing but his birthday suit (and black bikini bottoms) as Mr. January straight through to Mr. December.
Anderson has been thinking a lot about birthdays: His own was earlier this month and, for him, September has always been about endings and beginnings. The spring box will be the final one. The designer plans to put JW Anderson back on the runway next year, albeit from a new, post-COVID-19 point of view.
As Teller turned the camera on himself, exposing a rounded belly, abdominal scar and even his pale, bikini-clad backside, so did Anderson. The designer said he wanted to strip back this latest collection, show only what was necessary, and focus on the essence of the garment.
Some dresses resembled X-rays — a white bra and underpants were visible beneath a sheer dress, with a handkerchief hemline, while an Art Nouveau flower sprouted across another transparent dress, its green tendrils twisting over the model’s belly and thighs.
Other pieces were delightfully spare, and looked as if they were assembled from odds, ends or bits of the natural world: a striped and fringed dress was held in place by skinny stiletto straps, while knitted rounds of fabric — like snail shells or curls of butter — were shaped into skirts.
He even pressed pause on the androgyny of past seasons, super-charging this collection with a feminine sensuality.
In a Zoom interview, Anderson described those strappy shift dresses as “a new, blank page” and said he relished the season’s exercise in “singularity, precision and reduction.”
Anderson also took great inspiration from Teller, with whom he has been collaborating for the past few seasons. “By turning the camera on himself, Juergen was saying ‘I am comfortable with who I am,'” Anderson declared.
The designer also liked the idea of “removing the filter” and drawing out the essence “of who we are.” He believes that by baring all “we’re able to move forward.”
The no-fuss approach worked — this was a beautiful, powerful collection — but it remains to be seen whether people will tire of staring — day in and day out — at Teller and his belly.