London calling

JW Anderson and Grace Wales Bonner take out the menswear category at last night’s British Fashion Awards
By Lewis Firth | Fashion | 24 November 2015

Backstage at J.W. Anderson SS16. Photography by Takanori Okuwaki

Top image: Backstage at JW Anderson SS16. Photography by Takanori Okuwaki 

Last night JW Anderson walked away from the British Fashion Awards with not one but two awards, taking out both the Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year awards. In the rising category, Grace Wales Bonner was presented with the Emerging Menswear Designer Award – a similar award to what Anderson won, the Emerging Talent Award, back in 2012.

Personal connections are central to Anderson‘s creativity. Collecting, assimilating, filtering and re-presenting items and ideas into his complex works has thrilled onlookers for years. And it’s consistent. Being culturally omnivorous, with added insatiability, means this ten-seasons-a-year machine (between Loewe and his own line) has quickly become a key commander in design.

“I think the more that people can share, the better,” Anderson said in our recent interview for the FW15 issue of HEROINE. “Everyone has their own personal-taste level, whether it’s good or bad – at least you’ve got a point of view.”

JW Anderson SS16

Grace Wales Bonner made her FW15 debut in January this year. Historical and cultural references are firmly interlocked. Narratives have ranged from the Harlem Renaissance to a 16th-century Ethiopian leader (who was sold into slavery and eventually became a political aid). Originality for Bonner has been consistent so far, as has her reflective commentary on race, religion and multiculturalism.

Photography by Harry Clark

The common thread with both winners: inherently atavistic, beautifully researched and designed with the ultimate consideration. Safe to say these are awards well-deserved.


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