Fashion
  • Photography Harry Carr
  • Text Alex James Taylor
  • 18th September 2016

Heads will roll

On a warm and humid London afternoon, J.W.Anderson brought the tropical climate indoors, cue bird sounds and lighting induced humidity.

And it was an intimate affair consisting of benches in super narrow corridors, with attendees sat toe to toe. Such close quarters are the ideal vantage point for viewing Anderson’s designs, for it’s his attention to detail and astute nuances that elevate his designs – like a great film, subtle details are revealed under repeat inspection.

Since his brand’s inception, Anderson has been characterised by the way he defies gender, blurring boundaries between masculinity and femininity. This season Anderson’s woman took influence from Henry VIII, subverting the ultimate misogynist monarch’s alpha-male aggression into female empowerment. Harking back to those iconic paintings of the notorious monarch, a quilted tunic split into quarters with corset ties and dangling straightjacket-esque buckles was given volume by billowing ruffled sleeves (hey Seinfeld, dig out that puffy shirt!), whilst Renaissance ruffs were reimagined as thick, rolled cuffs on thigh-length knitted dresses.

An exercise in reveal and restraint, strength comes in many forms and Anderson’s woman possesses femininity in her armoury. Flowing dresses came ankle-length, then asymmetrically cut to reveal model’s knees and finally – in looks 42 and 43 – cropped to just above the knee, whilst scoop-neck leotard lines and heeled ballet pumps added delicate sensibilities to the collection.

Let’s quickly talk accessories. As Saint Etienne’s 1994 track Like A Motorway rattled, models wove through the corridors, hitting their bags along attendees knees: blue dragon leather bucket bags with thick rope handles and pierce bags that are guaranteed to fly off the shelves come next Spring.

When crossed, Henry VIII was known to shout, “I can make heads spin” (making them roll was an added feature), here Anderson presented a collection that knocked ours 360.