Scene setting: It all was all change for spring/summer 2018, as Jonathan Anderson switched up the design of his famously claustrophobic runway show space at Yeomanry House, characterised by its separation into three enclosed corridors, complete with closed-off ceilings. Instead, JW Anderson opted for a show set featuring seating laid out in snail-like concentric circles, with mundane plastic chairs (the seating of schoolrooms and waiting rooms), which coiled into the centre of the space. Its focal point? A staged domestic interior, featuring a circular handwoven grass mat by Anthea Hamilton, a plinth of three abstract and figurative paintings, and a smiling, pillow-inspired sculpture crafted from an amalgamation of timbers.
Mood board: Anderson is renowned for packing tricky references and, at times, difficult silhouettes into his collections. Take the exaggerated Henry VIII-inspired silhouettes in his S/S 2017 women’s collection, or the S&M overtones and eccentric snail details for A/W 2017 menswear. For the designer’s S/S 2018 men’s collection, Anderson showed a newfound inclination to everyday clothing, showcasing chinos, striped knitwear and a collaboration with Converse. This was also emphasised in the domestic staging of his most recent show, where the designer attested to the ‘ease of the everyday’ in his show notes. Dresses were imagined in column-shaped knits, elegant bias cuts, or in jersey with dropped waists. Footwear came in the form of natural-hued desert boots, and jackets were cut in leather and belted at the waist. Of course, with Anderson, there was always to be a hint of the avant-garde. There were striped and knitted bra tops which appeared inside-out, knits were finished with plastic panels, and a series of striped mini dresses were part ruby-shirt, part disco drama.
Best in show: An ode to the everyday, Anderson created a series of white flared skirts, shorts and turn-up trousers, finished with red stripes bearing the designer’s name. This weaved detail nodded to the domestic design of tea towels, and bought an even more homely spin to the collection. In short, pieces worth setting the table for.