Chaos Agent

Skateboard knits and barcode rips: JW Anderson SS23 was a mission in discombobulation
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 20 June 2022

Pushing the everyday to its absolute limits, JW Anderson’s jaunt to Milan for SS23 was both bonkers and brilliant.

Here, staples of domesticity were stripped to their bare bones, melted into nothingness, only to be restructured through the designer’s deliciously twisted mind. Anderson fashioned mohair sweaters out of cracked-up skateboards, formed bulky, broken hearts through valves of wool, cracked open tin can lids across baggy tees in a rash of monstrous polka dots (revealing nipples, breasts and hips), and upcycled bicycle handlebars that outstretched across the torso, hanging proudly from nautical striped shirts that tied around the neck.

Chain loafers and chunky sliders morphed into fairground dodgem cars, boasting the thick, curvaceous exteriors of the brand’s Bumper bags, remixed with rhinestone-clad exteriors. More bulbous forms appeared as a blob of yellow corrugation swept through the surroundings, in front of a jumper with a rubber gardening glove stuck in the middle – why not? Then came the discombobulated sports jackets, frozen as if cut from a pile on your bedroom floor, and then fashioned into dramatic overcoats and techy pullovers.

Anderson’s next target was denim. Jeans glitched out with slouchy double waistbands or found themselves patched together with slashes of blue asymmetry. Some were cloaked in XL pockets, embroidered JW anchors pulling focus, while others birthed frayed black holes, a motif that cuts through knitwear to reveal illusory barcodes. The visual language of the modern world continued to play out in hoodies printed with smashed CD-ROMs (Google it, kids) – a poignant metaphor for adaptable malfunction, and the surreal beauty that lurks inside the chaotic. 

GALLERYCatwalk images from JW Anderson SPRING-SUMMER-2023