JW Anderson A/W 2019 Paris Fashion Week Men’s
Scene setting: The showspace for JW Anderson’s first menswear show in Paris was a shadowy series of five rooms. Each contained a range of sculptures and a black sandy floor in ode to the American painter and sculptor Paul Thek. Thek’s first works to be exhibited in the mid 1960s were called ‘meat pieces’. They were mini sculptures made up of wood, melamine laminate, metal, wax, paint and hair, encased in Plexiglas boxes. Together with his partner, the photographer Peter Hujar, he moved around with the period’s intelligentsia, including sculptor Eva Hesse, artist Andy Warhol and writer Susan Sontag. Thek’s 1975 work The Personal Effects of the Pied Piper – a series of nine sculptures in black patina bronze – inspired the dark, otherworldly staging.
Mood board: The clothes were layered, elongated, wrapped around the body in different ways. A study in proportion and protection. Models wore shearling collars trimmed in fluro orange or white over shirts and coats. Prairie-style check shirts had long pussy bow collars, left undone, trailing down the front of the chest. Tweed coats had cutaway sides, exposing ribbed knitwear underneath. Knits had curved fronts. Technical fabric bloomers with elasticated cuffs were sometimes worn over pin-stripe trousers or just on their own. The look was unfurled, hurried. Rushed. During his lifetime Thek regularly declared: ‘I’m against interpretation,’ if anybody tried to discuss his work with him. Anderson’s latest collection suggests that he might feel the same.
Sound bite : Many of the looks included wool hoods with silver clasps that swung as the models walked. ‘I thought, how do you reinterpret garments and how they should be worn? It’s the first time in a while that we have gone back to designing a men’s and women’s collection together as a continuous language. There is a kind of earthly, nomadic feel to it, where you don’t know whether it’s a beginning or an end,’ Anderson said backstage. §