j.w. anderson's interstellar inspirations for spring/summer 16
J.W. Anderson's latest endeavor traverses an interstellar space of zen, youth and newness.
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans
J.W. Anderson is known for his often over-intellectualized collections, drawing on far-out references that you have to Google a hundred times before you can even pretend understand. But somehow his is a world that draws you in again and again. He didn't stray completely from the ideas of his previous collection - his favorite word of last season, "orbital", was printed onto denim tops alongside "satellite", "stellar", and "asteroids." The stone-in-spoon charms that swung down the runway last season evolved into a whole grid of talismans: golden whistles, mini Eiffel towers, crescent moons and even-- reminiscent of his recent i-D cover wrap for The 35th Birthday Issue--a mini phallic keyring. This season was stripped back, not only drawing on more obvious ideas of youth, naivety and space, but also in using a fashion student's favorite material - calico. There were word searches, gauze tops with feathers, thick paint strokes or silver tape laid over them, and billowing pleated trousers. It was perfectly made but with carefully positioned elements that gave it an obvious DIY aesthetic. We caught up with the man of the hour after the show…
What was the thinking behind this season?
It was about lowering the tempo, reducing fashion down to things like calico and working progress kind of things. The idea was to use symbolism to kind of fracture it, so it became more zen, to kind of reduce pace. It was made at very high speed and it was to try to retract into something that felt a bit more intellectually spanned out. Something that felt a bit secular in a weird way. Looking at symbolism, looking at the idea of a young boy in space and that kind of naivety to make your own, do your own thing, that naïve take on life. We used that really nice piece by Robert Ashley at the beginning, that spoken word, something to kind of like pair the look. It wasn't about the look competing with the music or the look within space etcetera.
Where did the graphic imagery of the numbers and word search come from?
It was kind of like, album covers, or flashes of symbolism you would have in a youth bedroom. Something that felt a bit boyish.
What did the mini tool pins represent?
Yeah, the little tiny tools were about making your own thing, your own group or your own little cult.
And the talismans the boys were carrying…
That was kind of about the idea of arranging objects, adding value to something that has no value. It's that idea of suspended architects, like things that you'd find in a shed, and you arrange them into something that means something to you.
What was the idea behind the silhouettes?
We did a lot of pleated, kind of like fisherman trousers. I wanted to look at more organics and denim and something that felt a bit like French work wear, something that felt a bit relaxed, kind of trying to find newness in the normality. We looked at Bowie and that idea of the full calico look. That idea that the preciousness can be found in something that has no value.
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Jason Lloyd Evans