A 9am slot on the second day of London Collections : Men could mean two things; either there was little choice or that the label is indeed very privileged. A colleague at the show concurred with the latter and quipped, "He's so posh". Perhaps an early slot brings about a tall order but also leaves the street style circus all tucked in bed. It presumably sets the stage for those serious about the fashion; an esteemed company for an esteemed ritual. Indeed, that was the JW Anderson experience, as it has always been.
It is no secret that Anderson has developed a distinct flavour for Japanese minimalism and this collection seems to be a gradual progression from his Spring/Summer 14 Womenswear collection. Of course highlighting the resemblance between his homme and femme lines is somewhat obvious. Many of his ardent customers are rumoured to shop freely between the racks in the stores anyway, with some going as far as borrowing off each other's backs in a non-gender specific fashion. It's fair to say that for an aesthetic once criticised as being detached and niche especially for the male audience, this non-discriminating androgynous dressing is rather democratic.
Again, if the womenswear spring/summer show were to serve as a precursor, this collection could be read as having a similar theme of anachronistic domesticity. Leather pails and petite tortoiseshell jewellery boxes served as accessories while the shoes were a cross breed between a pair of japanese Geta clogs and 70s platforms. The dusty camel reconstructed togas is yet another nod to the ancient and the ritualistic seen at Spring/Summer 14. The boys walked down the runway in a non-performative demeanour - almost reclusive - best personified in looks 29 and 30 with the knits that hug the shoulders like a cocoon. Jacquard pajamas in jewel tones of amber, emerald and sapphire puncture the meditative air much like the drastic change in music from classical strings to electronic garage sounds. Ribbed knits in the form of a separate turtle neck add to that element of domestic comfort and intimacy, although arguably also reminiscent of a constricting leash.
In typical JW Anderson fashion, things are rarely what they seem. The exaggerated shoulders on the pyjamas are not unlike those of an american football uniform; the ribbed neoprene remind us of the undulating surface of a Samurai's shield; the tri-coloured bangles turn out to be rolls of duct tape. To boot, a collection that plays heavily on motifs of domesticity is held at Yeomanry House, a former Army Recruitment Center. The collection is deliciously irrational and forces you to accept them for as far as you can see.
JW Anderson's Fall/Winter collection seems to be riding on a fine balance of opposing forces; slender versus volume, quiet versus outlandish, ancient versus futuristic. Perhaps that is what makes the collections always so exciting and Anderson precisely the master at his craft completely worth the courageously early call time.