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J.W.Anderson SS17 Menswear
Backstage at J.W.Anderson SS17 MenswearPhotography Chloé Le Drezen

J.W.Anderson raids his childhood toy box for SS17

Creating a new wardrobe for his ‘little princes’, the designer debuts a toy-like collection

On Friday, Craig Green delved into his childhood for his SS17 collection, looking to the Boy Scout uniforms he used to wear. Today, J.W.Anderson became the second designer of LC:M to explore this subject.

His models walked through a maze of corridor-like catwalks to Michel Gaubert’s soundtrack, which started with a booming, disembodied voice narrating Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”. There was something slightly eerie about it, particularly when the voice was joined by the sound of crows cawing.

The models wore aviator goggles and crowns that looked like they could have been made out of Lego, tunic shirts in a puzzle print, bags with “weird medallions” attached to them, jumpsuits that looked like Anderson’s take on the onesie, and sweaters with sleeves so long they trailed on the floor. (Backstage Anderson said he was thinking of what it looks like when a boy wears his father’s sweater.)

As with Anderson’s AW16 menswear collection, he referred to his man as a “little prince” and this season, he described his wardrobe as “opulent in a childlike way”. “I was looking at different naïve childhood references,” he explained, “and tried, using the vocabulary we have, to make it more sugary.” Indeed, it was saccharine but, like Gaubert’s soundtrack, quite dark at the same time.

The designer also cited David Bowie as an influence and you could certainly see traces of the Thin White Duke in the experimental silhouettes and slightly flamboyant masculinity. With Bowie and the children’s toy box among other concepts, the collection brought together an array of references and was, in his own words, “a workshop of ideas” – a compelling one at that.