LOVE LFW: A Little Bit of This + A Little Bit of That

If I had left J.W. Anderson's collection on just the 'loaker' note, it would be doing him a great injustice, even if this strange hybrid shoe that's part leather loafer, part 90s air max trainer in an unsettling combination of pale pink, burgandy/black and white, does sort of sum up the juxtaposing elements that saw his S/S 12 womenswear collection soar to new heights.  When I say SOAR, I mean really the dude has just sky rocketed.  The list of press and stockists has grown exponentially to a dizzying level that makes it hard to believe that this is officially only his third 'proper' womenswear collection.  There is no getting away from the mahussive chorus that collectively fawns over J.W. Anderson, which by definition should make me want to join it.  Except with the strangely high quota of just over ten pieces of J.W. Anderson (both old and new) in my wardrobe, there's no denying that I can starkly look at his collections and go "Let's have me some of that…"


Craft Goes Machine says J.W. Anderson for S/S 12 and seemed to me a summation of how many of today's designers are maintaining everything that is good and true about craft, and using that to drive their work forward.  It's not about upholding tradition for the pure sake of it but about exploiting what labourious craftsmanship can offer in the 21st century.  If you look through his YouTube videos, you can find yourself eight acts of image/footage juxtaposition where machinery goes up against something nostalgic or naturalistic.  Or rather rapid movement controlled by a circuit board goes up against something less predictable.  These give you a good image bank foundation to then tackle his S/S 12 collection that once again slickens and tightens up the J.W. Anderson aesthetic from last season.  If J.W. Anderson started off his womenswear with an emotive narrative about a lost girl who was trying to find her way in the world, then along the way, she has toughened up a bit, revelling in her awkwardness and wearing it with pride – which is something that is ensconced into these clothes.  Cue leather bikers and waistcoats stitched with white striped men's shirting, its boring City banker connotations shed once riveted and laced-up.  Most designers would have a tough time taking banker shirts and making them look half-decent but J.W. Anderson has done it with deft skill… 







The machine goes punching ahead to laser-cut square mesh that collages its way into panels on dresses with leather pleated skirts, over the knitted 'cardigan' dresses and onto some wrapover dresses with panels of Swarovski-crystals in a calculated way.  This contrast of naturalistic knit, overly ornate crystal and technical mesh is made palatable by the suggestion of prim high necks trimmed with white, school girl skirts and pinafore fronts, which also carry over from last season's latex collars and navy kilts. 









J.W. Anderson doesn't believe in honing into one thing and repetitively churning it out in photocopy mode.  The collection seems to purposely jerk about a bit so that you didn't really know what new texture you'd be introduced to as each model exited and a new one emerged.  This straw/raffia detailing on collars and sleeves were a welcome earthy element to the electric blue mesh and petroleum blue satin… 




… as was this collaged crochet piece which zig-zagged its way across the body… 


The tribalistic hints are only dropped in subtle quantities like this calico printed top with white fringing… 


Then J.W. Anderson sends out a real statement of intent in the form of this striped pyjama suit with a gigantic logo embroidered at the side.  Again it's another carry-over staple from last season's paisley suit but with the logo says very loud and clear of that "it's so wrong it's right" sentiment that runs through J.W. Anderson's work.  


J.W. Anderson may well have OD'd on paisley last season but when he enlarged and dissected it as seen in the video above and took it to the historic Adamley silk printing factory in Macclesfield (where they have been printing since 1700) to emphasise Anderson's commitment to having things Made in UK (where possible), it becomes a completely different beast to the traditional paisleys of last season.  When paired with backpack straps that run down the front of a shirt, there's no getting away from how brilliantly J.W. Anderson articulates nostalgia and modernity – pulling on a backpack over a school shirt becomes souped up for 2012, for the girl who has grown up but still remembers and reminisces.





In the final flourish of texture exploration, J.W. Anderson takes a chainmail bag and makes up the pattern into nappa leather so that the armour becomes more tactile and light as they swing about on the front of high-neck crop tops and the skirtigans that are another evolution of the skirt tied around the waist device that he cemented last season.  This time round, the knit is finer so the sleeves swing about with a bit more purpose…  







The fantastically tangible part of this collection though is J.W. Anderson's partnership with ALDO which will result in these houndstooth tweed and striped cotton stilettos going into ALDO stores sometime in early 2012.  




The hybrid "loaker shoe", which I got so excited about a few months ago sadly won't be making it into final production stages but hopefully J.W. Anderson will take these odd shoe moments (think of my Oxfords that also come with a mohair beard!) and store them all up for when he properly launches his shoe line 



In other accessories collab, this season J.W. Anderson worked with Porter on these rucksacks that I'm sure will become just as cultishly loved by both men and women as his A/W 10 caravan boots, which apparently had an unfulfillable waiting list of 1,000 people…  That's a sure sign of J.W. Anderson's future might that means my tally of ten J.W. items in my wardrobe will probably grow tenfold over the next few years… 


41 Replies to “LOVE LFW: A Little Bit of This + A Little Bit of That”

  1. Amazing site to visit for girls.It has a great collection of leather pleated skirts, over the knitted ‘cardigan’ dresses.Amazing pics provided by the desingner who is very innovative at her thoughts.Thanks for the work.

  2. Susie I love you for this post!!! I knew with JW (who as you know I am a huuuuge fan of) I would never get the full picture until you did your always detailed, details post. Thanks Susie!

  3. Ah I was wondering when the Balenciaga comparison would pop up… you’re not the first to point it out but i sort of think that’s a lazy comparison. Yes, both Ghesquiere and Anderson mish mash technical fabrics and contrast the traditional and the modern but in completely different ways. Ghesquiere’s ideas are often rooted in Cristobal Balenciaga, something that Anderson isn’t drawing from at all…
    I think what it is, is that there really are not many designers that think of texture like Ghesquiere does so when we hap upon something that is vaguely similar, it’s quite easy to draw that comparison….

  4. Oooo I can`t wait for the Aldo collaboration! These shoes are amazing. I think I need both pairs and can`t wait to see what else they come up with.
    And I love those blue and white striped pants, they are perfection.

  5. I enjoyed looking at all of the fashion show pics. However, how to designers actually get paid for this crap? Would YOU wear some of those things in public? I don’t think so! Fashion is more of an artform now, they don’t think of practicality.

  6. Such an interesting post, some interesting comments here too. I really love the amount of detail you put into your posts, your fashion know-how is incredible…you were definitely made for the fashion world! Best, Amy x

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