15 February 2014 by

J.W. Anderson Autumn Winter 2014 Show Report: Earthy Girls

2013 was a big year for the designer Jonathan Anderson. In September it was announced that he had been appointed creative director of Spanish luxury goods label, Loewe, and that brand's parent company, LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), also acquired a minority stake in his own label.

The designer kicked off 2014 with a stand out men's wear collection. Today at London Fashion Week all eyes were on his women's show which was equally remarkable.

'I wanted to be able to do dresses,' he said backstage after taking his bows. And if that sounds obvious - not to mention suitably self-deprecating - given the arena, and with the odd exception, these have been conspicuous by their absence on his runway until now. 'And then we looked at the Twenties,' he added.

His references are rarely literal. A consistently narrow silhouette was reminiscent of that era and bias cutting also loomed large - very large. Voluminous top halves were twisted on the body and had exaggerated seams that resembled scars.

The first looks out were in sludge-coloured corduroys: 'I felt  that isn't something that's been seen around for a while.' The literary gent's favourite fabric underwent an image overhaul, however: think funnel necks, a broad rounded shoulder and moulded full sleeve with a slender, ankle-length skirt. Corsets were layered over the top but there was nothing burlesque about the look: 'She's very covered this time,' Anderson confirmed. 'There's an earthiness to her.'

Later came soft wools that peeled away at necklines revealing they were bonded with leather; heavy satins with a stiff frill at the hem and scored silks in rich, dark shades backed with more skin.

Anderson has said before that he starts a look with the shoes. These were flat and wrapped around models' feet to the point almost of binding. They were far from conventional catwalk fodder but then Anderson is a far from conservative designer.

'Everyone should be challenged,' he concluded and it is clear from the way that he consistently pushes against boundaries that he includes himself in that equation. 'That's what fashion should be about.'


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