JW Anderson Spring/Summer 2016 Menswear
Jonathan Anderson’s collections walk a confounding tightrope between naïveté and decadence. Much of his new menswear looked like clothes for a futuristic, spiritual retreat (Anderson himself said he wanted something “laid-back, Zen-like”), but the buckled patent shoes were purest dancehall honky-tonk. The fitted leather jackets were pretty flashy, too, especially when contrasted with multi-pleated pants in plainest calico or denim.
“He took himself seriously,” said the voice-over that launched Michel Gaubert’s stirring soundtrack (a journey all in itself), but that felt like Anderson poking a little fun at his own expense—or at least anticipating reactions to his quirky rationale. He insisted his collection was actually like an imaginary world that a child might create for himself, akin to the tree houses he and his brother used to build. The preciousness that such a boy would bestow on things that are essentially valueless was reflected in the ordinary objects—keys, tools—that were transmuted into jewelry, the board game that mutated into a constructivist jacquard, and the calico or denim artfully constructed into the pants that http://bessd.com/add-news/chad/#made up the foundation of the collection. Some of the models were carrying a small metal frame on which curious little things were suspended, almost like charms to ward off who knows what.
That subtly occult tinge has become something of an Anderson signature, the way he disturbs the refined with the raw, for instance—a thin strand of bamboo or a bandage of calico nipping the waist, or a crude smear of paint across a tulle top so fine it is barely there, or even a white feather stuck to a shoulder. Such touches feel last-minute spontaneous, but also off-kilter, which is exactly where Anderson wants to keep us. But his work is now so consistent that off-kilter is proving a rather pleasant place to be.