LFW S/S ‘12 Report: J.W. Anderson

18 September 2011

It was only in February 2010 that J.W. Anderson first launched his womenswear offshoot of an already cult collection of menswear and accessories (girls in the know were clamourinb after anyway) and yet, after his  show today comparisons (positive ones) were already  being made on Twitter to Balenciaga. Not bad for a third season. And they weren't unfounded either: this spring/summer '12 offering had some familiar Balenciaga traits - the same modern focus on technology, intricate and unusual fabric compositions and a similar boy-meets-girl mix that his past collections have resulted in what's now often quoted as his signature look. But this is not an homage or a case of copying, he's an exciting new talent who isn't afraid to throw in the unexpected, skip a bit of the polish, the burden of too-great-a-concept and be, well, a little bit more London!

On first reading the show notes we couldn't decipher just where the collection could go: convent school girls, craft turned mechanical and artist Robert  Rauschenburg.... The result? It was at once sporty (looks like it's really the no.1 trend for next season), still boyish, a little sci fi and somehow pretty girly, too. A collision of contrasts - classic shirting stripes made into anything but shirts and clashed with lace-up leathers. Silk fronted tees with leather backs or woven leather bibbed fronts. Disco chainmail panelled over navy school kilts.  Striped court shoes (courtesy of Aldo's Rise collaborative project) with jutting raffia heel details. Warped fine knit dresses patched and draped out of cardigan shapes (with sleeves as flappy decoration across the body) and layered with strips of cutout suede. And then thr twists on the undying pajama dressing trend (two grow goers were in this seasons J.W.  pj paisley pants)  - initialled cotton striped two pieces and an updated version in cream of his silk paisley top and matchy trousers. There was even a pair of skinny crops and matching Vest made out of native American blanket - incongruous but none the less desirable. Now, if this all sounds a bit mental as a whole, then bear in mind the sombre colour palette - it makes all the difference. Yes, some pieces felt unrelated and a bit out of place, but the fash pack were still buzzing about it hours later, which only says one thing. J.W. better get a pen and paper out for those orders....

- Hannah Almassi


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