Illustration by Natasha Thompson
This write has taken far, far longer than it actually should have, which is no reflection on the beautiful collection I saw relatively on Wednesday morning several weeks ago. It’s completely down to inertia and mental blocks; utterly rubbish, but there you go. So whilst the womenswear editors and buyers had jetted off to Milan it was left to the rest of us and a Mr Hamish Bowles to enjoy the delights of J.W. Anderson‘s show. It is worth noting that by now the glamour of most fashion shows had dulled a little and I was fast developing the urge to move rows forward to the front. I was no longer just grateful to attend but damn it do they not know who I am? Obviously they did, or rather they knew who I wasn’t and quite rightly plonked me in the fourth row. I quickly moved forward. Shame and modesty is wasted at these shows.
Illustration by Aniela Murphy
As the lights dimmed the sound of an arctic gale blew through the show space, as if we weren’t chilly enough, before giving way to Nordic house. It was a great soundtrack and set the tone for a multi layered collection that showcased great talent and eye across both formal and casual wear. The palette was primarily navy and charcoal brilliantly punctuated with paisley prints, whites, and olive greens.
The fact I struggle to define which element of the collection was strongest tells of its strength. In a large collection it is often easy to pick and choose what you like, with only 28 looks each one needs to stand on its own but also within the line up. J.W. Anderson has definitely achieved this with this collection; be it the new and exciting knitwear, the floor length kilts, panelled overcoats or hooded tailoring.
Illustration by Gabriel Ayala
The knitwear was fresh, jumpers with missing front panels, Scandinavian-inspired detailing or webbed bands to hold in place. No longer just tied loosely round the waist the bands held the jumper tight in around the knee. Cardigans in a fine gauge knit or latex were layered over each other adding another exciting element.
A strong trend at fashion week this year has been panelled trenchcoats, both amongst the fashion elite and on the runway, and this was picked up on the Anderson catwalk. Anderson took it a step further creating fantastic midnight blue standalone jackets with printed quilted hoods.
Illustration by Natasha Thompson
Overall London menswear day is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. No longer a nominal notion tacked on the end but championing both established and upcoming designers. It’s a shame it still clashes with Milan and as such most of the press have left already. But with British and Irish menswear being championed by the likes of Anderson we have much to look forward to.
See more from Aniela Murphy and Natasha Thompson in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!
A/W 2011, Aniela Murphy, AW11, Cardigans, Gabriel Ayala, Hamish Bowles, illustration, J.W. Anderson, knitwear, London Fashion Week, Matt Bramford, menswear, Natasha Likes Tea, Natasha Thompson, Nick Bain, Nordic, Paisley, Scandinavian
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