Another nominee in the upcoming British Fashion Awards- having been nominated for both Menswear Designer & Womenswear Designer of the year- Jonathan William Anderson is recognised for his provocative and androgynous aesthetic. A designer who is continually moving forward every season in his continuing endeavour to venture into the surreal, experiment with dysfunctional disproportions, new shapes and the unisex.
The Northern Irish designer, whose shows certainly draw attention due to their experimental subject matters grew up in a small town that he proclaims influenced his craving for success. Though originally drawn to a career in acting, his undoubtable interest in fashion meant he was enticed by the stage costumes and the stylish drama, which subsequently saw him go on to graduate with an BA in Menswears from the London College of Fashion.
(Image: Milan Vukmirovic)
The J.W Anderson Label was launched off-schedule in London September 2008 with its first menswear collection. Now considered one of Britain’s most dynamic and progressive designers, it’s a million miles from the negative press that came from his first collection.
“When I look back, that show was probably the most important one I will ever do. It was about gender confusion, because that’s an issue that’s around us, and I believe as a designer you have to reflect what’s going on.”- JW Anderson (The Guardian)
A period where he claims “maybe society wasn’t ready” for such testing of gender boundaries, Anderson has since gone on to refine his radical stance on gender and allow it to become one of his most characterised and celebrated aspects of his work resulting in becoming one of the UK’s most “one to watch” designers.
Due to Anderson’s natural growth, in June 2010 the label received a business and funding support from the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN catwalk sponsorship, which supported its first stand-alone seasonal catwalk collection at London Fashion Week. Due to popular demand, the young visionary later launched his first capsule women’s wear collection at the start of 2010 which received immediate critical acclaim and successful profit. This resulted in Anderson receiving a second NEWGEN sponsorship and being awarded the “Emerging Talent Award” by the Fashion Council.
Due to his originality, Anderson naturally matured into an internationally heralded designer, which in 2013 saw his talents recognised by Pierre-Yves Roussel who offered the young designer creative helm as the creative director of one of Spain’s most iconic luxury brands, LOEWE.
“When Delphine Arnault and I first met Jonathan, we immediately felt that we could help him to express the true potential of his innovative, fast-emerging and already influential brand,”- Pierre-Yves Roussel, chairman and CEO of LVMH
Efficacious in his ability to place the Spanish luxury brand back on the fashion map, Anderson has consolidated his position as one the key players in the fashion industry. When entering the new house the British designer already had ideas for the direction of the label taking an ‘all or nothing’ approach. From changing the brand’s logo making it more contemporary and iconic, modifying the aesthetic of the collections by implementing his own vision to be more ‘brutal’ whilst keeping the true ‘essence’ of the brand.
Time spent at LOEWE has not disturbed Anderson from attaining his objective with his eponymous label.
Not shying away from his capability to manipulate different shapes in order to achieve a uniform-like aesthetic, Anderson left followers in nothing less than awe at his futuristic, pop-culture inspired men and womenswear collections. He showed his versatility in his Fall ’15 collection, when he referenced the 80’s to create a very benevolent and vibrant collection full of bold prints, patent leather and modish knits. The Spring 2016 collection was a blend of His latest SS16 collection demonstated Anderson’s ability to combine a range of techniques and materials to make a mind wonder and heart desire. There was squiggles aplenty, a comeback for leg-o-mutton sleeves, twists on a tracksuit, tiny structured bras and feminine frills. His menswear collection are where the captivating controversy lies; his bending of rules between genders is seen through the use of fluid silhouettes and synonymously feminine prints and details.
“I hope what I do is not cartoonish… I want it to be something which makes you think, challenges proportion but also challenges what our mentality is towards men”- JW Anderson (Matchesfashion)
Jonathan Anderson is a designer who is constantly challenging the boundaries between women’s and menswear clothing. Hence, his unique artistic approach has not left him shy of any nominations at the British Fashion Awards this year. It is wonderful to see the Menswear and Womenswear designer recognised for his talents again.