For J.W. Anderson, artistry comes first. This much was made clear by his controversial Spring/Summer 2016 collection, which married looks from both the 1980s and the 1880s. The collection explored a juxtaposition between volume and silhouette, as slim, sportif separates shared the runway with bulky gigot-sleeved tops that swallowed the body in a cumbersome tapestry of print and fabric. Meanwhile, a maze of Keith Haring squiggles amplified the ponderously structured tops to even more exaggerated proportions.
This controversial collection married looks from both the 1980s and the 1880s.
Fervor ignited for his double crossbody bags and square-toed shoes, but the clothes themselves left the audience in consternation. Looks of confusion graced FROW faces as voluminous-sleeved looks came down the runway, but only nine looks out of a total 35 were tortured by this design method. The rest of the clothes fared much better, as Anderson introduced a cool new trouser that was slim cut, flared, and tied at the ankle, while pastel separates displayed a lovely, modern interpretation of the “Victorian” trend with lifted collars and overlong sleeves. A body-conscious aesthetic ran in direct contrast to more cumbersome looks, as Anderson outfitted models with tiny bralettes, sporty tees, ruched mini dresses, and binding corsets. On Anderson’s Instagram, a few choice words were leaked ahead of the show — “anonymity”, “fame”, and “joke” were all defined by dictionary entries and lent clues as to the theme of the show. Clearly, Anderson’s love affair with the 80s and conspicuous style were on full display in this presentation, but conspicuity and wearability are rarely in the same boat.