Tuesday, 29 September 2015

JW Anderson - An Upgrade from Androgyny: LFW S/S16


JW Anderson’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection was presented as ‘odyssey oscillating between intergalactic Olympics and empowered femininity’ – an ambitiously broad scope to cover a sixteen minute show. Andy Warhol (the man who correctly predicted that ‘in the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes’) droned over a tannoy from Martin Scorcese’s Public Speaking soundtrack. But how far has society come since Campbell Soup Cans? Acid brights had found us again, unquestionably, and oversized shoulders also recalled the eighties. Waist-clinchers with raised tracksuit-like trousers chanced vivaciously sharp prints; the explicitness residing in the vivacious squiggle prints that we recall from the era, paired with knitted jackets, taperering, and slim silhouettes. Though, the finer elements were in the details that bookended this sense of exuberance well, like layered frills and cufflink turned up sleeves. Anderson wanted to create a ‘tension between the pop cultural with the sinister’, and he did exactly that. Most evidently so was the mismatch of lace with plastic, an ominous collaboration of textures indeed. Anderson showed to control volume and structure, but emphasised the sleek and willowy too, layering bras and bralets over frills, and cross-harnessing bags over other pieces, alluding to the sensuality of the spaghetti strap much more adorned in the nineties. Colour was fragmented and under command of the consistent doodle prints, which took centre stage. Anderson, who also stands as creative director at Loewe demonstrated the kitsch co-operating with the ethereal here: his collection was not modest, nor was it meant to be. Femininity was presented as resilient and perky, a pleasant change to his search for the meaning of the androgynous. Whereas Burberry brought the charisma and glamour, and Mary Katrantou showed off a space age, JW Anderson sought to demonstrate the power of the sixties through allusion to sportswear and underwear, and did so wittily, and the label exemplifies itself once again as one of the most elite fashion houses since its birth five years ago.

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