With its spare lines, raw edges and patchworked fabrics, this collection laid bare the impact a new collaboration with Uniqlo — which lands online and in-store next week — has had on Jonathan Anderson, who made his name with conceptual, androgynous and always dramatic collections.
The new focus on simplicity began earlier this year with Anderson’s spring 2018 men’s show at Pitti Uomo. Although his women’s outing wasn’t as pared-back as the regular-guy T-shirts, cargo shorts and denim that appeared on the Florentine runway, the down-to-earth spirit was similar. The flashiest women’s piece was a short, striped skater dress iced with sequins.
Anderson said he liked the idea of sanctuary, of calm. Indeed, one of the pieces was as homespun as it gets, a skirt made from what looked like an oversized cotton dish towel. “When we were working on the collection I wanted something a little more grounded, rough, less static, like a kind of calm before a storm. It’s that kind of stillness, do you know what I mean? It’s this idea that everything comes back ‘round again, that once you put something out in the world it comes back out again.”
There were some lovely pieces: The fern green dresses, some with rippled skirts, others with a thick band of gold around the hem. Others still in a nubby raffia weave were among the highlights, as were the papery leathers and burlap-like fabrics worked into skirts with matching cropped peasant tops. Knit corsets — an Anderson signature — were fused with cotton skirts, giving them a laid-back, homemade look.
This was Anderson’s most commercial collection for a long time, and it should have a wider appeal than, say, the flying saucer capes or stiffly sculptured pieces of seasons past. Alas, the fashion thrills just weren’t there. That said, if Anderson is right, it won’t be long before they come around again.