This year London Fashion Week saw an eclectic mix of collections collide, where bold colours, embellishment, motifs and messages were loud and very rightly proud. We were expecting similar tones from JW Anderson, for his previous collections have always had an explorative, chaotic edge about them. But this time around he explained that his idea was ‘the calm before the storm’ and so we enter what appears to be a new era for the designer, stripped back, minimalist and peaceful.
Going back to basics, back to the start, the collection was made up of knitted vest dresses, loose, slouchy skirts, understated footwear and the simplest of tank tops. In organic, muted tones - sage greens and dusky violets, 80% of the collection is crafted in sweatshirt jersey. But boring this collection is most certainly not. It’s freshness and originality inspires the most wearable collection Anderson’s created to date - calm, simple, and in his own words ‘normal’.
Though simplistic, there are subtle details to note which we’ll all be wearing come spring next year, for wearable is exactly what this collection is. Thought you’d finally seen the end of the Bardot crop? Think again. Okay maybe we can’t quite bring ourselves to bring that one back from its over exposure this summer, but the low-plunging kaftan style dresses, clean cut, minimalist and oversized, is something we can whole-heartedly get on board with. Look upon look emerged with the use of leather, expertly cut and slowly revealing the more elaborate side of JW Anderson’s designing as the show went on - belted jackets, pencil skirts and puffed sleeve cuffs all adding a little extra detail to the plainly spare collection.
Vogue’s fashion director Venetia Scott and London’s fashion elite Alexa Chung watched on as the most punchy look revealed itself as the show closed, using metallic iridescent sequin stripes to catch the eye, the collection’s only embellishment strode around the circular runway.
Hair was styled by British stylist Antony Turner who also directed the SS18 looks for Yves Saint Laurent and Missoni. Like the clothes, and much like fashion week’s style industry-wide this time around, was kept simplistic, contemporary and natural. Turner parted each model’s hair strongly to one side, fixing it with a single barrette creating a youthful, classic and expensive look.
Anderson’s collection showcased simplicity impeccably, exclaiming that fashion, everything, comes back around again and so when we are in moments of chaos, stillness will always follow, it will always return. Tom Ford once said that ‘time and silence are the most luxurious things today’ and so Anderson can focus on that notion ‘as one of fashion's busiest designers, it's no wonder that peace and serenity seem like luxuries'.
Video embedded courtesy of FF Channel YouTube [J.W. Anderson | SS18 Full Fashion Show].