All eyes are on Jonathan Anderson right now. Last week Women's Wear Daily reported he was in talks with LVMH - owners of Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi and Loewe - with a view to the luxury goods conglomerate investing in his company. The young designer is no stranger to big business. Donatella Versace employed him to design a capsule collection for Versus, Versace's second line in November last year.
Only adding grist to the rumour mill is the fact that Kering - parent company of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen - recently bought a majority stake of Christopher Kane's business and, only days ago, an estimated 40 per cent of Joseph Altuzarra's label also. LVMH may be France's most high-profile fashion force but there are those who might argue it has some catching up to do.
With the aforementioned Kane's show, Anderson’s is among the most hotly anticipated at London Fashion Week. So what did the Irish-born designer famed for putting women in men's Paisley print pyjamas and men in women’s frilly shorts have to offer devotees - and there are many - for the forthcoming Spring/Summer season?
‘There is an air of ease and emotional femininity to the collection,’ Anderson stated and of all his work to date this was the most gender specific. ‘At the same time it is always the same character... She's sliced, diced and served up again.’
Any slicing and dicing appeared almost literal as Anderson attached raw-edged geometric panels of fabric to models’ torsos with the finest shoe-lace straps or slashed splits up the front of hobble skirts. Leather and pleather was pleated and embossed – vertically, horizontally, in chevrons or squares – in a manner that paid lip-service to the great Japanese designers, such was the level of expertise. More innocent – even virginal –were sweet, smocked puffed sleeved dresses that brought the pastoral idyll to mind. Their purity was disrupted, however, by the fact that these were cut in nylon not muslin and gathered so closely to the body that they were very slightly restraining. The looks in question were all worn with nothing more haute than heavy, flat black slides only adding to the slightly twisted nature of it all.
Anderson is a conceptual designer for sure but this work was not tortured. That and a level of expertise that is impressive given his relative youth makes his a name to watch.
A spokesperson from the designer’s company said they were unaware of any LVMH talks but, however things turn out, anyone with their eye on acquiring a stake in this name would be encouraged by what they saw.