An exciting start to London fashion week came from one of the most intriguing menswear talents to come out of London to date; Irish born J.W. Anderson. His spring summer collection took a leap forward, with a polished 25 looks in the collection entitled "An eye for an eye". It was drenched in historical referencing, inspired by religious paraphernalia, mythical characters and societies bound in traditions.
Historical icons such as Raphael Jonathan and Diego Velázquez, and the baroque painting of warrior patron, "The Archangel Saint Michael" by Guido Reni from 1636 manifested itself onto shirts jackets and trousers in pale blue and blood red throughout the collection. Details included canvas lace up shoes with burnt detailing and laser cut panels in the shape of diamonds. Pyjama wear mixed with causal suiting with intricate embroidery combined historical fantasy with everyday menswear. Elements of traditional school boy uniforms within the collection highlighted themes of innocence and the elegance of Brideshead Revisited, which contrasted with the warrior influences.
The sinister touches that JW Anderson has come to be known came in the form of wicker voodoo dolls pinned on jacket button holes. Crowns made of straw and acorns were a homage to the arts and crafts style of the early part of the 20th century, with the acorn as a recurring shape within the collection. It is believed to give eternal life to the wearer.
Other highlights was the mustard knitwear, the grey pleated fabric used as head bands and belts, knee high socks, silver fringed scarves, grandad collar shirts and floppy bow ties. These all brought an element of decadence and romance into the convetions of brash or safe playing London menswear scene. Anderson achieved a breakthrough collection, that had aspects of commercially viability that is sure to please buyers and customers alike whilst catering for the editorial eye.
Held at a packed out Trinity hall in Marylebone he received a roaring round of applause. Casting familiar faces like the D1 boys Robbie, Adam, Daniel as well as their poster boy Harry Sewell from Nevs. The goody bag included an embroidered scarf and a pair of the knee high socks. If JW Anderson is anything to go by, this week could be most exciting London Fashion Week for menswear. To conclude, a strong statement by J.W. Anderson leaves us to ponder how he hopes to change the state of menswear in Great Britain.
“This collection has been produced exclusively in Great Britain; we have a remarkable history in men’s fashion, which seems to have been forgotten in favor of tailoring. The manufactures of Ireland, Scotland and England are at the forefront of technical development ,I would like to see Great Britain become a men’s fashion country again."
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