Since his arrival on the scene in September 2010, J.W. Anderson has steadily built the best curriculum vitae of any young, London-based designer. He just wrapped a successful run as Creative Director at Sunspel, and soaked up accolades for his capsule collection at Versus alongside Donatella Versace. In addition to producing sought-after menswear and womenswear ready-to-wear collections, he recently took a job as Creative Director of Loewe and secured a deal with LVMH for a minority stake in his company. It stands to reason that Anderson is a hot ticket at London Fashion Week, and for Fall/Winter 2014 he delivered a surprisingly minimal collection that explored new territory in the realm of fabrics, structure, and texture.
Relying on heavy-duty materials like linen, corduroy, wool, and shearling, Anderson was able to employ puffed-up volumes that held their shape. This allowed him the freedom to dissect traditional silhouettes. However, what he ended up with felt like it struggled against the female form rather than worked to enhance it. His looks were conservative, at best, and cloying, at worst. There is a futuristic theme at work here, due in large part to how the clothes are worn. Since they defy costuming norms and are presented with strange twisted draping and bulked-up silhouettes, a suggestion of alien tribes comes into play. Only in a futuristic context do these clothes make sense – for the present day, they come off as slightly skewed and strange. However, there are plenty of fashion-forward women (particularly in London) who can shape this collection into street style winners.
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