Every season in the lead up to fashion week, Mel and I always choose a few of our most anticipated shows. She always has a few dream shows she mentions (Viv, Meadham Kirchhoff) and so do I (Burberry, Margaret Howell) though this season I went completely psychotic over JW Anderson.
I am subscribed to his blog and for the month or so before LFW I was receiving strange images and video's under the title of Craft Goes Machine and they had me completely perplexed! I had no idea what to expect.
We arrived at the Portico Rooms fairly early but the lineup already curled down the winding staircase. When we were allowed to enter, people were literally on the verge of slathering on some baby oil so they could slip into every crevice of the room. People even stood outside on the balcony's to watch through the window!
The show began...
Rarely do I quote an excerpt from a press release on this blog, however, the one for JW Anderson's ss 2012 menswear collection was so well written I feel I must.
"Craft, which represents the embodiment of painstaking acts of hand making (the hand that revolves and twists, like a hydraulic piston) suddenly closely resembles a machine. For Anderson this goes to the heart of the more ethereal subtext of the collection, the contradiction of rich vs poor; or the infutile insistence of an individuals naive optimism, which only thinly veils a sense of doom for all."
I couldn't have said it better myself! No really... I couldn't have...
The two poles of technology and craft collide within the collection and provide a delightful mix. Anderson's use of understated detailing in an overstated way kept it clean and modern in the face of traditional methods such as crochet and intricate leatherwork.
Crocheted links formed into sleeveless tops, tailored trousers and mid-thigh shorts, magnified prints produced at Adamly in Macclesfield. Mohair, leather skirts, lime green Swarovski crystal centre fronts, leather brogue's with the sole's of technical trainers. The most delectable turtleshell shaped rucksacks with bold colours and crochet details for balance.
Referencing the American artist Robert Rauschenburg, Anderson used an explosion of fabrics and techniques which should have been wrong but weren't. Colours that shouldn't have worked but did. A mish mash of varying bits and bobs that all seemed to collide into the perfectly considered, exciting and modern collection. Serendipity.
I would that next season were tomorrow thus we wouldn't have so long to wait to see what's next. Not that we're in to fast fashion!!! Just ever so slightly impatient when we can feel good things coming....