Spring/Summer 2016 J.W Anderson

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Keith Haring-style black and white squiggles, tiny bee-sting sized cupped bras worn over engineered knits, pink eyelash trimmed lace whipped into blouses or cycling shorts that skimmed thighs, and mannish tailoring with overlock stitch trim, like someone turned the whole thing inside out. A million ideas came hard and fast, most still steeped in the Eighties – a JW favourite – but a wholly different Eighties to last season.

Backstage, the designer said that the documentary on Fran Lebowitz was the starting point to the collection. “She spoke about creativity and what it means now. This collection was about a woman’s honesty, and commentating on a moment,” he offered.

As is often the case here, the fabrics are innovative to the point of warped beyond recognition. You had to look twice, and close up; there was shirting with exaggerated leg o’mutton sleeves that looked like leather, and leather that looked like rubber. Fabrics were treated and plasticised and everything was airtight; leathers were closely, intricately ruched to knitted flares that were tied at the ankle, while clingy ribbed knits – sweaters and tunics – were punctuated with zipped-up zips and frilled collars (expect them to fly come spring). “I was thinking about survival and I liked the idea of nothing being able to get inside” Anderson added.

Yes, women will buy as separates but this collection was about a total look, and that was intentional – “the idea of a uniform appeals to me, I wanted looks that were uncompromising.”

Accessories were also standout; he brought back his bunched-at-the-top paper bag style and clamped it with swirling chrome hardware, the same swirls were laser cut in silver leather and fastened as belts. The big message however was messenger bags, worn cross body and doubled up, one sitting at either side of the hips.

Ideal for the woman with lots of armoury.

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Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Loewe

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In just one season, JW Anderson managed to transform Loewe – the label at which he was appointed creative director at the end of 2013 following the departure of Stuart Vevers. His trophy T-shirts from his spring/summer 2015 debut were spotted at London Fashion Week and his leather trousers today sat happily on the front row. Already he’d managed to create “it” appeal – and such is the stamp that he’s put on the brand (injecting his own cult of personality), it can be hard to remember Loewe pre-J Dubs.

This collection, he continued in that vein, this second collection an extended drilling down of his woman, who she is, what she wears, when and how. And even if she herself doesn’t know, Anderson is going to tell her.

“We were trying to find the woman in winter. A bit laboratory, something future but in the reality,” the designer configured of his starting point this season. There were whiffs of his eponymous line and its Eighties stance  to be found here. “I do both brands. I want them to be different but want them to communicate what I feel. She [the Loewe woman] is older, harder. It’s about playing,” he said.

His toys of choice obviously began with leather – the remit of the luxury heritage house. He gave us mint and lilac trouser and mac combinations; blouson panelled jackets that were beautifully crafted and executed; a continuation of last season’s wide-leg trouser – spotted here mostly beneath dresses in graphic green, grey or red prints. He added to that with glossy red, sophisticated navy, glistening green and pleated lamé skirts and dresses, lemon yellow funnel-neck jumpers that inflated into shape, tie details at the neck of capes and at the waist of silver pleated swaying skirts or more wide-leg trousers. It was that touch of the hand, a nod to craft.

Of course accessories played a part – an original core of the brand. “We went tougher on accessories. It’s winter so you want something more robust. We were thinking about bags that fit into different periods of the day,” said Anderson. They ran from handheld pochettes like little historical coin purses, to neat and compact handbags with turquoise chevron handles. Their lines continued onto the bags themselves and onto the toe caps of beautiful navy boots.

“The shoes and bags either need to contradict or work together with everything,” he said of his train of thought, though quick to note that neither the clothes or accessories are more important than the other.

“There’s a tension in the collection,” he summed up. And no doubt, with the press raving already as they queued up to chat to the designer backstage, there’ll be a tension as to who gets to wear this season first. Anderson’s Loewe chapter continues with great success.

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Spring/Summer 2015 Loewe

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If J.W. Anderson’s own collection in London was surprisingly, pleasingly straightforward, his catwalk debut at Loewe suggested why. All that wayward J.W. action had gone south, to Loewe’s headquarters in sunny Spain. Yes, sunny. Instead of the somewhat heavy, leathery Loewe those who know the brand might be familiar with, there were the Balearic lightness and sensuality that Anderson began to explore with his men’s collection for the house. At first glace, the Isamu Noguchi garden at the UNESCO building where the show was staged might have seemed the very antithesis of those notions. But step back, check the sculptural stones and benches, and you could have been in the rocky fabulosity of Formentera. And that’s where Anderson was taking us, to somewhere physical and primal. A sheath in the honey-toned suede Loewe calls “oro” was decked with random applications of hide, a 21st-century Wilma Flintstone. Right behind it, something black, bowed at the waist, with a handful of suede samples dangling from its yoke. Precision and chaos—the kind of dialogue Anderson cherishes in his work.

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The primal, organic nature of the collection asserted itself in the knots of a cotton tank laid over a navy skirt with brutal diagonal slashes, or in a raw silk knit tank over huge white linen pants. There was an appealingly wayward imprecision to such pieces. But the other half of the collection was something else altogether: high-waisted leather trousers in a rainbow of colors, tied judo-style at the waist. Anderson had imagined them crisscrossing on his complex set in a pleasurable blur. He wasn’t wrong. And their leatheriness underscored just why Loewe makes such an appropriate, if peculiar, fit for Anderson. He is fascinated by skin. Here, there was a trench in oro that was simply gorgeous. Less so, the latex tees perversely printed with a game-bird graphic from the Loewe archive. But, as Anderson pointed out, that was a kind of skin, too.Spring.Summer 2015 Loewe 5Spring.Summer 2015 Loewe 4




The Pre-Fall 2015 Trend Report

Pre-Fall is a season of consolidation, with such labels as Chloé, The Row, and Zero + Maria Cornejo doubling down on all sorts of ’70s tropes, from rock-star shearlings to tunic-and-trouser suits to baja shirts straight off the beach in Malibu. What it means for you: It’s time to invest in a flared skirt (floor grazing or cropped way above the ankle), and you might want to consider a long tube skirt as well. They looked directional over loose pants and pleated skirts at places like Rag & Bone and Proenza Schouler. Or you could go the other way entirely and opt for something thigh-high short. Tiny baby doll dresses à la J.W. Anderson and Calvin Klein Collection had a big moment, too.

The Drug Rug Deluex

The drug rug got a major upgrade this season, thanks to ponchos that were hipper than your average head shop find. Chloé‘s Clare Waight Keller distilled globe-trotting glamour with a fantastic tasseled number, but for those who prefer a poncho with a little more polish, look no further than Cédric Charlier.


  New Life For Leopard

Is it time to stow away the It girl faux-leopard coat? Just maybe. We were seeing spots in a whole new way at the Pre-Fall collections. Joseph Altuzarra whipped up a purple jacquard parka and matching pencil skirt, while Julie de Libran sent out a Parisian take on jungle print at Sonia Rykiel. Wild.


  Doll Parts

Would-be dolly birds, unite! Pre-Fall’s most darling indulgence came in the form of baby doll dresses. Whether printed (Valentino and J.W. Anderson’s floral numbers) or plain (Francisco Costa’s dreamy white knit), their thigh-grazing hemlines made certain that these frocks were anything but saccharine.

It’s The Fuzz

Designers cozied up to plush shearling pieces for Pre-Fall. Whether long and luxurious or shaggy and shorn, Mongolian lambskin took center stage in collections from Altuzarra to Burberry Prorsum.


 Night Time Is The Right Time

The best kind of evening look is an unexpected one. This season, that’s where Alexander Wang’s minimal elegance, Christopher Kane’s nouveau blooms, and Rachel Comey’s unfussy fringe all come in.