I was looking for the best way to pay a tribute to David Bowie. I have already written a post about his influence on Fashion. The Dries Van Noten's Thin White Duke AW2011 menswear collection is a perfect example. But it wasn't enough to celebrate his memory. We haven't done enough. We first envisaged writing a post that would gather all the posts we dedicated to him.  But it wasn't creative enough. Eventually, Charles came up with the brilliant idea to name all our forthcoming posts using one of Bowie's song titles. Since I wanted to write about J.W. Anderson's latest collection I looked for a song that could go hand in hand with it. I opted for something "perverse", gender-fluid and provocative. Diamond Dogs is a perfect song to go with J.W. Anderson's Autumn Winter 2016 Urban Tale. This album/song is very dark, trash, nihilistic and chaotic but it has something so seductive. J.W.Anderson's (J.W.A) collections are always a mix of trash, irreverence, attractiveness, obsession & temptation. The boys at J.W.A were walking to a soundtrack of pounding techno music arranged by Michel Gaubert. But it could also have been a mix of the Diamond Dogs album.

A week before the London Collections:Men, J.W.A announced that his collection would be livestreamed on Grindr (the gay hook-up app). What a ball-sy move! " I think fashion is a sexy platform as well, and ultimately we are all humans, so we all have to be somewhat sexually attractive to someone. That's the name of the game, with clothing. For me it was how could I reach 196 countries in one moment. I feel today is about exploring media." J.W.A is the modern figure of the designer working faster and stronger as if he were trying to beat the speed of this industry. Some designers don't see this over-communication world as a good thing. Some like Anderson perceives it as a major opportunity & the best way to expand their business. For instance, collaborating with Grindr to get the attention of the planet and thus be on everyone's lips. 

The collection had to embody this idea of attraction provided by Grindr. J.W.A is portraying nihilistic hot hooker boys whose beauty is about to drag us into some artificial paradises or some charming voids. It's a wardrobe of temptation adorned by symbols. Some are part of the pop culture such as bozo the dog, a 1920's British fictional cartoon character. Other symbols are more obscure such as the nails, the tears, the picture of an athlete and the cloud-shaped pockets. " The idea is that symbols don't need to make sense. Some cultural symbols do, but when you go to another country they don't. It's this idea that is part of the tale". J.W.A is here mastering Muccia Prada's quotation and he is so right! There's no need to explain everything. A collection is a tale so anything can happen. So what about putting transparent chokers with metallic dot embellishments in this collection? A white oversize pea-coat is adorned with pastel snails and ribbons on the shoulders and worn with ribbed knit trousers and logo sneakers that, as usual, look odd. A silky slouchy suit in pastel colors is the modern uniform. A heavy knit with elongated shoulders is worn over a white shirt and one of these knit trousers. What is coming out of all these silhouettes is the idea of innocence and fragility that is going to be corrupted and lost forever when the other outfits are going to make their appearance on the catwalk. A perforated leather coat worn over a bare skin or the camel rivet collar coat worn with a classic white shirt and nothing underneath. J.W.A loves the idea of contrast mixing innocence & perversion, fragility & provocation or masculinity & femininity. What makes this collection beautiful is the mastered excess. Sometimes it's too much. A sleeveless ermine is printed with tears and worn over a shiny polka dots sleeveless top and their matching slouchy trousers. Think of the liquid transparent and shiny fabric wrapping the illustrated pajama look! Isn't it wonderful? At the end of the day, I'm just contemplating the beauty of this collection and have already forgotten all these symbols.

Pic by Daisy Walker via Dazed Digital

Words by Yann Sackville-West

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