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J.W. Anderson Menswear Fall Winter 2015 London

JW Anderson’s home base at the Yeomanry House was laden with a violet crystal-like tapestry made of recycled tires, hinting at the post-apocalyptic show that was about to ensue. Ray Bradbury’s “There will come soft rains” immediately rang to mind depicting a world brought to ruins by Man. In a chat backstage, Anderson mentioned that the “idea felt a little bit apocalyptic…a bit George Orwell”, highlighting the poem that opened the show. Anderson switched his usual Ratatat-style discordant track for a recording of “The Imperfect List” by Big Hard Excellent Fish narrated by Josie Jones — the chilling sobering track that used to open every Morrissey concert. The words to the poem read, “scouse impersonator. silly pathetic girlies. silly pathetic woman. macho dickhead. Bonnie langford. neighbours. lost keys. phoney friend. ungrateful accusing mate. the royal family. stock aitken & waterman. smiling judas.”

The choice of track was perhaps an ode to Anderson’s explorations of the working class. But this season saw a lot more transgression than the usual tacit commentary of class systems. It went very futuristic. Anderson added that he was researching into the idea of “pataphysics” pioneered by French writer Alfred Jarry, who brought Otherness to the realm of traditional science. This desire to project what lies far, far ahead explains the reprise of 70’s retrofuture shapes with tailored bellbottom trousers, ribbed knits, pique wing collar, half-zip collared sweaters, waxy nappa leather outerwear and a spectrum of brown hues. Save for the oversized, stereo-like buttons that lined the coats — the outcome of a collaboration with ceramicist Lucy Rie — the ideas that featured down the runway today felt like a hyper-evolved direction for Anderson.

Perhaps it’s not far-fetched at all that Anderson were to describe his show as “pataphysical” because what Alfred Jarry did for science, what Nietzsche did for philosophy, is what Anderson continues to do with fashion.