A head scratcher, this one was. It was not until I viewed his SS13 menswear and read what he said at the show could I begin to understand what he is going for in his menswear collections. He said of SS13, “I feel like menswear has gotten to a point for me where it had to be thrown out the window and dragged back in,” “There’s something that has gone stale for a while in men’s, and I think you have to blow it up—then you’ve spawned a look.” In SS13, the looks were womanly; full organza outfits and sheer clothing made up most of the collection. But these were cut into shirts, tops and trousers.
In AW13, he took the womenswear additions to a whole new level with mini dresses made of stiff grey cotton and leather, frilled woollen short shorts, diaper shorts (which reminded me of Balenciaga SS12)and Wellington boots and cut out flap tops. If you read those descriptions alone, you would think I was talking about a womenswear show, and the clothes would have looked as if they were made for women without the boxier, looser coats and jumpers. Some jumpers had a stitch in the middle which made could be interpreted as Anderson trying to make a cleavage for the male chest. Subtler references were there too like padded shoulders that made the models waists look smaller. Bandeau muff tops were the most womenswear inclined looks of all as the models seem womanly in their appearance.
This might not be what he wanted but it is where the greatness of J.W. Anderson lies; he has made men resemble women through creating clothes that while are admittedly feminine,with slicked styling to boot, but mostly by using the male physique to his advantage. Showing off thighs, putting bare leg in full view of the audience. These things are rare in menswear fashion shows and even rarer in streetstyle (not including Pelayo who still manages to look manly). Plus this is an AW show. This is a very new and novel interpretation of men’s fashion that is not like anything other and hopefully this is what his menswear shows will be recognised for.
PS: I was wondering how this would sell but Anderson said (at SS13) of his clientele “If they’re buying something, they want to buy an idea,” “It’s worth it.” He also claimed of climbing sales. I wonder why.
A taste of SS13:
A selection of AW13:
UPDATE (19/02/13): Mr. Anderson has said he would not like the collection to be related to androgyny because he was doing something new for menswear, ‘inspired when a male model came to the studio and tried on women’s versions of his designs’ . Here is the quote from a recent Suzy Menkes article:
“By cutting a line across the chest and opening up the arm, it felt new. A new proposal of architecture for a man,”
Agreed, new for men but not for women. Some looks in AW13 were modified to a men’s version of the Pre-Fall 2013 womenswear, and I guess this was when said male model visited his studio. Look here:
He is making a brand of J.W Anderson. Note he has said that he shortened his name to its initials so he won’t be tied as much to it after he is long gone. Note the making of signatures in cut, approach and silhouette. Their is a type of collar on look 1 of AW13 that is repeated in his most recent womenswear collection. Mr. Anderson is giving us a lesson and exploration in branding as he knows, from his stint at Prada’s merchandising faculty, it is what’s needed for his label to survive (and thrive) :
His clientele; young, fashionable and daring have shown their faces in his designs at London Fashion Week, especially by Yu Masui, wearing SS13 on day 2 and AW13 on day 4. The AW13 look has been styled simply and really well into something actually wearable, and I kind of want it now .
Pink neoprene jacket and pink neoprene shorts by J.W. Anderson
White shirt by Jil Sander
Clutch bag and silver Rollerboys by Christian Louboutin
Wool jacket from J.W. Anderson
Ruffled shorts from J.W. Anderson
Heattech leggings and socks from Uniqlo
Trainers from Christian Louboutin
Photography by of Yu Masui by Yu Masui