J.W. Anderson’s sexually ambiguous fall 2013 men’s collection featured a succession of steely-faced men in knee-high frilled leather boots, ruffled neoprene shorts, tube tops and, in one case, a full-blown industrial-wool dress (our first thought was that it looked vaguely like a Victoria Beckham design). And despite the triple-takes, the whole shebang was actually pretty damn smart—and unarguably very Anderson.
The Northern Irish designer had a banner 2012, with an appointment to the helm of Versace’s Versus line, following Christopher Kane’s exit, as well as a successful collaboration with Topshop and plenty of amped-up attention on the editorial circuit. It’s with this confidence and backing that Anderson is able to push his imagination. Who knew a man in a camel-colored strapless top could look…well, sexy?
The keynote here was the show’s underlying interplay between Anderson’s ahead-of-current sensibilities and the age-old idea of domesticity, with its built-in sartorial properties. Anderson’s tailoring, in certain instances, suggested men in the process of undressing, with folds careening over waistlines, as if one were exasperatedly pulling off the day’s uniform. Moreover, two looks featured white-on-black intarsia sweaters, one with a picket-fence and the other with hedging shears, implying a kind of austere idea of the ultramodern home and what may be stocked in its occupant’s closets.