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Unraveled control: JW Anderson’s soon to be viral plasticine fashion hits

 (Imaxtree)
(Imaxtree)

After last season’s show, marking 15 years at London Fashion week, in which he raided his own archive, Jonathan Anderson pondered where to go next. His answer for spring summer 24 was to explore and reinterpret the idea of everyday, daily pieces to seek, in his words, “a new type of modernity through experimentation, reduction.”

The opening looks were beguilingly cartoon-like, a play on character and proportion. The hooded tops and shorts which sat off the waist were moulded by hand from plasticine modelling clay, rendered in 3D. It afforded, he remarked after the show, “a new type of attitude in the walk. So the shorts went one direction, the top another.” The pieces looked solid and unwielding, but were actually “spongy, like a weird play dough.” A blended idea of “toughness” with “nativity”.

 (Imaxtree)
(Imaxtree)

A delicously oversized sleeveless khaki bomber jacket was edged with white feathers around the arm opening, slipper-like moccasins came with kitten heels; ballooning cargo trousers were paired with feather-edged knitted vests, trench coats had elegant ruched tie details at the front, creating a neat line. High shine puffed up jackets were worn with coordinating trousers in clashing light blue and orange. Other pops of colour came via green parachute trousers, azure blue and pillar box red woven slip dresses and orange leather fisherman sandals.

Cole Sprouse, Jean Campbell, Romy Madley Croft and Vic Lentaigne at JW Anderson SS24 (Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Ima)
Cole Sprouse, Jean Campbell, Romy Madley Croft and Vic Lentaigne at JW Anderson SS24 (Jed Cullen/Dave Benett/Getty Ima)

Signature loafers also came knitted, as was the cult Bumper bag. A sexiness came from draped, jersey dresses which skirted the body in folds and cut outs, the cool girls’ summer party look, perhaps. Then toughness via black leather hooded jackets with contrasting white ties. Colour blocked knit dresses came with foam curves at the front creating a jarring silhouette, a play on proportion and propriety.

The overall effect was that of ebbs and flows, familiar pieces given the wizard touch turning them into the sort of fashion pieces which turn up the volume in real life as well as on social media. Viral hits but easy, wearable clothes, too. Anderson described it as “unravelled but in a controlled way. I don’t think it’s minimalism, it’s more about simplicity through fabrication. There’s still a bit of angst in it.”