London Collections:Men Spring Summer 2017 has started for 3 days now and the least we can say is that some major changes are ahead! While we are reading everywhere that menswear is something getting bigger and bigger with male customers becoming more and more aware of the power of clothes & accessories, the designers who have already presented their work for the next Summer season seem to have a different opinion since many menswear designers (Agi and Sam, Astrid Andersen, Alex Mullins to name a few...) have decided to present women's silhouettes along with their main menswear collection. Is it a desperate need for attention? A desperate attempt to be more visible, to gain a larger audience, to earn more money? Or perhaps it is just a genuine desire to create women's clothes. We can't really blame them but we can definitely question this twist in the situation. As far as we're concerned we think these designers should definitely stick to their primary views while resisting the womenswear siren songs. Especially as these aforementioned designers have already been creating for women since their designs are quite unisex and have already been adopted by a female audience. So what's the point? Looking competitive in this brand new era fashion is experiencing? We don't have an answer to that but we are definitely eager to see what's next!
J.W.Anderson has already experienced this gender-blending revolution we are witnessing right now. For him, no need to put women on a male catwalk and vice-versa. No need to reduce a garment to a specific gender. He is beyond genders and beyond trends. No need to say that his SS17 collection was eagerly awaited and once again, the British designer didn't disappoint us with his sublime evocation of Saint Exupery's Le Petit Prince.
This collection is all about the shirt. Some granddad-like with round collars, long length and prints. Some having a more boxy vibe with plaid-prints & large padded collars. Others made of linen, reminding us of some Moroccan tunics and beautifully painted with approximately accomplished lines. Others with delicate and gorgeous tie & dye, pastel shadings like the memory of a soft and quiet summer sunset. Lastly, some longer ones with balloon sleeves, big lapels, almost like trench coats. Shirts worn as outerwear, something quite appealing for summery days. Talking about outerwear pieces, there is quite a wide selection of garments you could wear to feel more comfy or just to feel fabulous; it's JDub after all! All kind of trench coats in addition to the trench-like shirts; a dark pink short-sleeved satin one (the opening look), a surrealist one embellished with what may look like giant tears or paisley, a piece of art! Or simpler ones (in a good way) nonetheless beautiful with a jacket shape & trench-coat characteristics. This particular point can be found throughout the collection; for instance a shirt having coat vibes, a jumper having dress vibes... Never judge a book by its cover with the designer! The perfect combo/styling/outfit award (though each and every silhouette would deserve this honour) could be given to the navy bomber + long denim shirt w/ a large collar + striped jumper + cropped trousers + boxer-like shoes. We could also talk about the macs, boxy ones with round sleeves and more particularly talk about the black one with zipper embellishments on the sleeves. Completely desirable! As desirable as the jumpsuits, silky ones with hoods for a luxury mechanic touch.
Knitwear is also revisited & reinterpreted under Anderson's hands with a playful, child-like touch. Look at the über-long sleeves, long color-block jumper as if a child were wearing something way too big for him. The gorgeous cardigans are another proof of this "back to short pants" mood: painted or printed with cartoon-like characters. This particular one is worn over a long hooded striped jumper & baggy trousers. Undeniably 90s vibes in this silhouette and in some others; a long sleeveless granddad-collared tee-shirt in a plaid print -that could easily be worn as a dress- with long sleeves knotted on the front; definitely grunge definitely cool.
J.W.Anderson loves Art, it's not questionable. Just look at his work for Loewe to be convinced. Most of the pieces he is designing are like pieces of art that could be curated in museums and at the same time, be street-ready. All the bags he has created are it bags now and his latest Pierce Bag is no exception. Originally dedicated to women (in a smaller size), it has, here, a larger size and it looks like a messenger bag, the most fantastic messenger bag to be honest. And just like art, Anderson's fashion has a very rich symbolic dimension; three Anubis round dancing, a skeleton can also be found on some garments, the face/lucky charms adorning the bags/the clothes or as we have already said before, the puzzle print & naive cartoons printed on some pieces; a feast for the eyes and an attention to details that make every J.W.Anderson piece unique. At last, what to say of the homemade crowns that seem to have been made out of a construction set; something a child could have make during one of his intense playing sessions.
Pictures by Chloé Le Drezen for Dazed
Words by Yann Sackville-West & Charles Margueritte