Sex Glitter and Chinos at J.W. Anderson's Spring 2018

JW. Anderson Fashion Show Photo by Gio Statiano for NOWFASHION

Florence, Italy - J.W. Anderson has a lot of ideas. With his broody, endearing, boyish gaze, the young gun is riding the wave of fashion with full force. He’s amped up Loewe’s name worldwide with his savvy, geometric leather accessories and now his signature ready-to-wear line is taking shape.  Androgyny, individuality and coming out to the world are all part of the brand’s ethos, which is likely part of the reason Converse just inked a long-term collaboration with him.

Aged photos of young men in the nude, and the cultural emancipation expressed by E.M. Forster in “A Room With a View”, had something to do with all the mischief alight in hearts and images of iconic beverages on the runway.

Backstage, Anderson shared the creative process with journalists in the manicured gardens of Florence’s Villa La Pietra, a palatial Renaissance estate in the hills that is now home to NYU. 

Here are the key takeaways:

He practices zen habits

When envisaging his spring 2018 collection, Anderson fought excess in every way.  He started with himself and, opening his own closet, it was his tattered jeans and chinos which spoke to him more than anything else.   

“When I looked in my wardrobe, I had this moment where I asked myself if I actually wear some of these clothes.  When you do 12 collections a year, there is this looming challenge regarding how to reduce and how to get back to basics."

The new JW Anderson man is an extension of Anderson himself

"This is the first time I looked at garments I wanted to put on. I always wear the same navy sweater and jeans I’ve had for years. I had to ask myself how these staple pieces can be engineered in such a way that they can be mine and still be projected onto someone else."

JW Hearts Florence. Florence is sexy

For all its bare-all masterpieces, Anderson loves this Renaissance city so much it almost makes him want to take his clothes off.

“I love Florence.  Everywhere you go there is nudity.  Florence is one of the most sexual cities in the world. And when you come here, you just want to strip down.”

A sexually liberated male is duelling with his preppy self in this collection

There were chunky hand-made Irish knit sweaters and mariner stripes, funky geometric patterns, hearts and Converse high tops bathed in glitter. In fact, Anderson was inspired by early photos of homosexuals, such as the sepia coloured van Gloeden images of statuesque boys frolicking and posing nude in romantic Mediterranean settings. “There was this idea to redefine what the man is."

Exchange students never dressed so good

JW. Anderson Fashion Show Photo by Gio Statiano for NOWFASHION

“We looked at the idea of American tourism, especially when you come to somewhere like Florence. On our way here, we studied  tourists, looking around and looking at sculptures. We translated this into the show by making everyone sit on pillows, enforcing the idea of sitting on the ground and looking up at something. It’s all about zen-ing out."  

He’s an E.M. Forster fan

After the show ended, Anderson treated everyone to a viewing of the 1980’s film adaptation of “A Room With A View,” underlining the idea of boyish/girlish wanderlust.