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Jonathan Anderson pushes envelope to make him the talk of London Fashionweek

By Frances Burscough

Published 22/02/2016

Models wearing JW Anderson outfits
Models wearing JW Anderson outfits
Models wearing JW Anderson outfits
Alesha Dixon, who attended the Ulster designer’s show at London Fashion Week
Jonathan Anderson

It's always a pleasure to see someone from Northern Ireland succeeding and in the case of 30-year-old fashion designer Jonathan Anderson, it's nothing less than success on a global scale as these shots from London Fashionweek show.

The son of Irish and Ulster rugby legend Willie Anderson launched his self-named accessories label JW Anderson at the same show in 2008 and immediately caught the attention of commentators and critics with his very fresh and individual take on the genre.

This was such a success that he soon followed by branching out into clothing, merging elements of both women's and menswear into a hybrid look that is always challenging and distinctive in its quirkiness.

He describes his approach to fashion design as "a modern interpretation of masculinity and femininity by creating thought-provoking silhouettes through a conscious cross-pollination between menswear and womenswear elements".

Now, basically, how that actually translates into clothing is that he's reworking the "gender-bender" concept of the 1980s New Romantic era.

So there's lots of role-reversal going on, such as men wearing silky blouses and skirts and women dressed in utility-wear with a very masculine edge.

Another stand-out feature is his tendency towards asymmetry, with lots of wobbly hemlines, seemingly random ruching and odd-shaped pockets and panels. Whether or not it will catch on back home in Belfast remains to be seen, but the JW Anderson brand is now being worn by high street hipsters in all the fashion capitals.

To carry off anything from his collections requires a certain amount of confidence and swagger. Personally, it's his first success - the accessory collection - that I like the most, particularly his range of bags in gorgeous vibrant colours and the most succulent butter-soft leathers.

In fact, I'm thinking of putting a JW signature 'twist bag' on my wish-list for Christmas. I should be so lucky, though, as prices start at around £600.

Shown here are styles from the JW Anderson collection for Autumn/Winter 2016, hot off the catwalks from London Fashion Week, where Jonathan is still the talk of the town and raising eyebrows wherever he shows.

Belfast Telegraph

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