Inspired by the arts movement, the collection combines romantic prints and modern twists on tailoring that equal the perfect blend of masculine and feminine. Can’t wait to get your hands on JW Anderson’s SS19 collection? Good news: some of the pieces – and a whole lot more besides – are available to buy right now on NET-A-PORTER.
If you’ve been locked into the rolling coverage of London Fashion Week and compiling a mental wish list of need-immediately pieces, we’re pretty sure that the twisted shirt dresses and tweed tailoring that hit the JW Anderson runway is somewhere near the top. In which case, we have good news: the designer has created an exclusive capsule for NET-A-PORTER that includes those pieces and a whole lot more.
In the ten years since he began his eponymous label, Jonathan Anderson has earned a reputation as one of London’s most boundary-pushing names, not one to shy away from challenging both himself and the men and women that he dresses. “I’m becoming a bit mellower, possibly,” says the Irish-born designer, “but at the same time, there are moments where I get fired up and I feel like I need to throw something down a runway that makes me question fashion itself. I think sometimes you have to be out there, not to get a reaction but to make sure you’re not too comfortable. The minute you feel it’s too comfortable, then, God, it’s so boring.”
His latest capsule collection (available on NET-A-PORTER), however, is a riff on the interesting-but-accessible pieces that have become Anderson’s signatures over the past decade: the asymmetric-hemmed skirt and dress; the blanket-stitched chunky knit; twisted shirting; checked tailoring inspired by vintage riding jackets; and, yes, a new take on his cult Disc and tote bags. “It has a new type of understated normal and a sexy ease to it that I love,” says Anderson. “It’s about democracy and products that feel like they’re authentic. I want clothing that’s empowering to see my mother or women on the street wearing.”
He took his inspiration from pioneering artists and designers like E.W. Godwin, William Morris, Thomas Jeckyll and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. As something of an antiques obsessive, Anderson is never happier than when trawling antique shops and auctions for more furniture, prints or ceramics to fill his East London house. “[Making things] is something that we are very good at in Britain,” he says. “We love craft and we love to make things and it’s always slightly wrong, which I quite like – it’s never too perfect.”
Anderson has long been adept at blending function with beauty – the collection’s pretty Art Deco prints are off-set with thoroughly modern Converse sneakers (his third collaboration with the brand). He’s a master at treading the masculine-feminine line too, which is no surprise given that his roots lie in menswear. “There is nothing more exciting to me than the idea of both men and women sharing this wardrobe,” he says. “Ten years ago, that’s what my fantasy was. You ultimately give the power to the consumer to make that decision; have someone buy something and take the classicism and twist it. That’s why you have the dress and the suit. Or even the Converse; for me, they’re one of the most perfect examples of a non-gender specific piece. They don’t mean anything differently on a man or a woman and I love the coolness of that.”
Ultimately, the new capsule collection is packed with hardworking pieces that will slot into any closet; pieces you can mix and match with anything, and rely on time and again to update and bring something unexpected to your look. Which is a pretty fair description of the label as a whole. “I think it boils down to [JW Anderson] being a cultural agitator,” says Anderson. “There’s always a meeting of classicism and modernity forced together in a way that causes tension. I know when a look is right because there’s conflict in it – there’s something that is not exactly what you were anticipating.”