Mood board: JW Anderson shows always take a moment to digest. In the crush to exit, editors propose zany one liners to their peers dissecting his inspiration. These are usually references from childhood, for which it’s a case of the more abstract the better, and they inevitably become their publication's Twitter blasts. It's like an open source sounding board. Anderson calves up fractions of sub cultures like nobody else and part of the fun of attending his shows is attempting to nail his references on the run. This season that chatter bounded from Dr. Seuss to Burning Man, Jay Kay to desert punk meets air force one. Turns out his actual leaping point was French writer and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella, The Little Prince, which provided a feast of colourful citations.
Best in show: Absorbing this classic adult fable of a pilot stranded in the desert (the author served in the Sahara during WW2) who encounters a young prince fallen to earth from an asteroid, the show was based around loose linen tunics (spray-painted like a vandalised aircraft bone yard) layered over cropped pants. Also in the mega mix were luxe takes on aviator classics including the boiler suit, military bomber and shrunken trench, two-tone Dr. Seuss skivvy dresses (again layered over his black culottes), and degrade sunset, plaid and Cerberus prints. All up, a wonderful mélange of breezy and lustrous textures, hyperbola colours and quirky prints.
Finishing touches: All of Anderson’s princes were fitted with old-skool driving goggles, aside from a lucky few who channeled the Jamiraqui front man with makeshift beaded crowns. Not to overshadow the season’s explorer footwear, which was as upbeat as the collection’s rave soundtrack. Think judo-style lack-up boots in hues of black and pink or teal and brick that stole the show from the knee down.