JW Anderson's Chamber of Isolation

One of the hot tickets at London Fashion Week, JW Anderson excelled, but his best is still yet to come...

‘Mad women… biting their lips… delusional, manic,’ said Jonathan Anderson backstage after his show, ‘that was their state of mind.’

Meaning his woman this season?

‘Yes, the idea that she’s really losing it.’

So all those stark white quilted pieces that had a clinical slightly sanatorium air about them?

‘Padded cells,’ he smiled, sweetly.

If that all sounds a bit cray-cray, think again. Alongside the wipe-clean vinyls that came in grey, oxblood, black and mustard and the hospital-gown-style ties on quilted tabards, there was nothing remotely Cuckoos Nest about this collection.


There were great big circle skirts, worn with his by-now trademark thick crepe flatforms, long chunky jumpers in mustard or orange, and checked mohair sliced into long narrow skirts with a slit up the back or severely-minimal round neck tops – all frequently topped off with a shiny storm trooper hat.

It’s worth remembering that this collection, titled ‘Chamber of Isolation’, was only his third womenswear show and that he is a designer still in the embryonic stage of his career, which is why it is almost shocking to see such focus and confidence.


But even while Anderson was studying at the London College of Fashion, he was cutting his teeth in the Prada empire, under the tutelage of Miuccia’s right hand, the global Prada store creative, Manuela Pavesi. This would explain his instinct for creating a strong, easily-identifiable message.

His (already!) signature look – as seen in his terrific pre-fall collection, was also evident here. But, unlike his pre-fall which just said it all so precisely – a big pleat skirt, a great grid patterned jumper, a shiny bomber jacket and those shoes - Anderson slightly over-cooked this one. You could practically feel the pressure to pull off another knock-out show.

No matter, his is a talent that needs time to grow and carefully protecting, because his full potential has not yet been seen. And, as everyone knows, it’s bound to be dynamite.

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