The secret of life…

JW Anderson immortalises the words of Oscar Wilde with a new capsule collection
Fashion | 1 December 2020
Text Finn Blythe

If the words, The secret of life is in art, feel oddly familiar, cast your minds back to the tail-end of last summer (painful we know), when the very same mantra of Oscar Wilde introduced JW Anderson’s SS21 Womenswear collection in a box. Months later, Jonathan Anderson has now revisited Wilde’s fabled enigma with a capsule collection dedicated solely to him.


Launching today, the new collection pays tribute to Wilde’s inimitable legacy, not just his works on paper but the unapologetic conviction with which he led his life. Wilde’s belief in the importance of beauty for beauty’s sake is universally identifiable but for Anderson especially, Wilde’s profile as a gay man from Ireland determined to forge his own path and disrupt the status quo feels personally resonant.

Comprising a mix of four ready to wear styles in multiple colour-ways, the collection is a slimmed down, concentrated affair that reproduces Wilde’s signature and sage life-advice as graphic prints on tees and shirts. In addition to woven wicker sun hat and a shoulder bag tagged with Wilde’s instantly recognisable handwriting, a highlight of the collection includes a gold necklace bearing the words  The secret of life is in art, spelled out in individual gold charms. When you find yourself perusing the collection, it’s perhaps worth recalling another of Wilde’s wise words: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

The JW Anderson Oscar Wilde collection is available exclusively at and the brand’s London Soho flagship.

Read Next