by Alex R. Travers
Progression has become a mantra for J.W. Anderson. The 29-year-old designer believes in grouping his silhouettes, i.e. sending two or three similar looks down the runway back to back. He does this to reinforce his cuts. For Fall ’14, the first triptych out was a series of what looked like modern-day tabards paired with cropped, cuffed trousers and platform shoes.
That’s Anderson advancing his vision of a man’s column-like structure. “It’s about architecture, suspended architecture,” he said of his collection. This architectural notion is, in fact, something he’s been working on for quite some time. Like the couturier Charles James did in the past (aren’t we all trying to fit him into the conversation this year?), Anderson focuses on the development of specific shapes, often working on one concept for several seasons. “You’re evolving a character,” he explains, “you can’t ditch things.”
This morning, that Anderson-ian character was alive and well. It was evident, primarily, in the models’ posture. Many of these lads (who you sense truly have confidence in the designer’s aesthetic) walked out with their right hands in their trouser pockets, which forced their weight forward. All in all, it created a sensation of urgency and bravado. Not an easy task when you’re wearing a Prussian blue ruffled leather shirt with shortened pirate sleeves.
But we know by now that Anderson is not a sartorial designer. Still, you could spot a few classic pieces on the catwalk, namely the mid-length camel coat or a few of the fitted button downs in dark tertiary colors. Or even the knitwear: light cashmere jumpers and spongy Marino wool sweaters.
On practicality, Anderson’s Fall ’14 looked less frock-y than it did last year. Yet the accessories—bucket bags, tape-roll bracelets, and sky-high platform shoes—felt ruled out for most men. In an interview on SHOWstudio with Lou Stoppard, Anderson seemed pleased by confounding our expectations. It’s about how you can disproportionally balance, he said, “so if everyone’s getting it, I’m not doing the right job.”