One of the most daring designers in fashion today, Jonathan Anderson stuck his neck out on Sunday night and staged what might very well have been the first almost entirely pant-less men’s show in Milan.
Sporting sheer black pantyhose tugged over their black undies and dress socks, male models wore only sweatshirts with big poinsettia brooches, quirky cat-face sweaters, oversize tuxedo shirts sprouting an extra set of extra-long, streamer-like sleeves or — for at least one exit — nothing more than deodorant.
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Here was a fall JW Anderson men’s collection rather light on fashion thrills, and also on clothes, recalling his show one year ago when several models appeared in only briefs clutching rolls of woolen fabric.
More substantial exits this time included sumptuous double-face wrap coats with roomy sleeves and jumbo collars; oversize cotton blousons, velvet blazers and fuzzy cardigans worn with baggy cargo pants, and handsome trenchcoats with epaulettes and tab-like lapels.
The women’s pre-fall collection was far more convincing, and sexier than ever, including terrific mini trenches, T-shirt dresses with lopsided, pointy skirts, and cocktail numbers with deep-V necklines and sleeves with built-in gloves, but worn with other gloves, the built-in ones dangling.
Also inventive, fetching and glamorous in a offbeat way: homely wool cardigans with satin linings puffing out like whipping cream might from an overstuffed profiterole.
All of the above was inspired by a random August rewatching of Stanley Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” and Anderson’s discovery that the legendary director’s widow Christine, now 91, is the prolific painter behind all the artworks in his movies, including the one from “A Clockwork Orange” hanging in the window of the JW Anderson boutique in Milan.
During a press briefing earlier in the day at the store, Anderson explained how Christine Kubrick’s artworks and provocative interiors in “Eyes Wide Shut” informed Sunday’s show, with a couple of her figurative paintings printed as a triptych across three floor-length cashmere sweater dresses.
Anderson said he recently realized his signature collections tend to be autobiographical. He spent a good chunk of last year collaborating with Luca Guadagnino on the latter’s next film: The William S. Burroughs adaptation “Queer” starring Daniel Craig and Drew Starkey. Anderson described his fall 2024 show as “weird and perversely domestic.”
There isn’t space in this review to unpack all the psychology at play in Anderson’s work, but it compels you to look at the collection in a wide-eyed way.
Launch Gallery: JW Anderson RTW Fall 2024
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