JW Anderson A/W 2020 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

JW Anderson A/W 2020 Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Mood board: In 1978, artist David Wojnarowicz photographed a man wearing a paper mask of French poet, Arthur Rimbaud. Jonathan Anderson sent facsimiles of the mask as invitations to his A/W 20 show. He had seen a retrospective of Wojnarowicz’s work at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin. ‘I was thinking about how he interpreted the poet during that particular moment in New York and what that would be like today,’ Anderson said. Dressed in a new collaboration with Wojnarowicz’s estate, twosomes of mannequins sat wearing Rimbaud masks in between the guests. The collection zoomed in on the JWA look: the idea of the shift, a blowing up of proportions. The suggestion that a coat uses a total of fabric. An avant-garde timelessness. 

Sound bite: Lining peeked out from below wool trousers; second layer shirting hovered underneath coats; lapels paired in harmony. There was a paisley silk duffel coat cut with trapeze proportions and long paisley tunics. ‘It’s really about a JW look. It’s about going back to triangular cutting, and it’s looking at how you do product that is substantial instead of having 15 coats,’ Anderson said. ‘Maybe have one coat in multiples and develop it to the point where it feels like it has always been there, like Rimbaud’s face. You take something which is poetic and you make it underground.’ 

Team work: There was a see-now-buy-now capsule featuring felted intarsia knit jumpers with an interpretation of the original artwork Untitled (Burning House) by Wojnarowicz. Proceeds will go to Visual AIDS, an organisation founded in 1988 to raise awareness and support HIV+ artists. ‘It is not about having a political voice just for the sake of it, it’s about stimulating creativity through having a political voice. It’s thinking before you speak, thinking before you act, and I think that’s what I like about the collection. There has been more of a reduction. I was looking at how David dresses and Rimbaud and the vocabulary of that moment in the 1970s when America felt like the end of the world but it wasn’t. There is an optimism as much as it is incredibly heavy. This sense that, you know, there will be a solution.’ §

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