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J.W. Anderson Menswear S/S12

The British designer mixes up hyper-minimal and modernist styles utilising jersey, leather and crochet fabric

TextKin WooPhotographyEric Oliveira

While exotic travels and tropical destinations have regularly been cited as inspirations for the S/S12 season, JW Anderson stuck to his own hyper-minimal, modernist mien for his menswear collection to sharp results. It followed on from a smash hit womenswear showing earlier in the week where he explored the themes of “craft goes machine”. So crochet fabric was mixed with jersey, intricate leatherwork was linked together, his paisley print from last season came remixed as a ‘molecular’ print and he showcased a lightweight neoprene mesh. Anderson mashed up a variety of fabrics together, subtly deconstructing garments in an homage to the work of American artist, Robert Rauschenberg.

Anderson’s other obsession is mixing masculine and feminine – here manifested by a cardigan-composite worn as skirt for men. If that sounds tricksy, Anderson was on safer ground with his ultra desirable take on cigarette-legged cropped trousers, sporty rucksacks and his hybrid brogue/trainers that have already been dubbed the ‘loaker’. While there was a sense that this season, his menswear has played second fiddle to his powerful womenswear showing, Anderson is fast establishing himself as a master of his own slightly sick, slightly punk and utterly cool and elegant aesthetic.

Dazed Digital: Was the collection about exploiting the tension between traditional craftwork and making it look modern?
JW Anderson: Yeah it was about taking those two extremes. It was about pushing together two opposites – something painstakingly handmade and contrasting it with something done by machine.

DD: How did you push ahead with fabrics this season?
JW Anderson: It was a lot of hard work but we went and found some of the best factories in England to produce our stuff. We developed all of our fabrics this season. We did a lot of stamping, pressing, rolling, using plastics and poly cottons. But the prints were as hyper-classical as we could get them.

DD: How do you think the JWA boy and girl have developed over the seasons?
JW Anderson: They reflect off each other. I think it needs that to solidify what I mean for the season.

DD: If you could sum up an emotion running through the collection, what would that be?
JW Anderson: It still has that collage feel to it – I like putting a lot of different elements together but also really controlling it. I’m always interested in that mix.