Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Northern Ireland designer JW Anderson has male models up to their 'mankles' in platforms and cropped pants

Male model at JW Anderson show during the London Collections: Men Autumn/ Winter event
Male model at JW Anderson show during the London Collections: Men Autumn/ Winter event

First there was the man bag, now there's the 'mankle'.

Northern Ireland designer JW Anderson has been pushing the boundaries of men's fashion yet again with his latest collection.

The 30-year-old has been showcasing new designs with a distinctly feminine twist at the prestigious London Collections: Men event this week.

The Magherafelt-born designer raised eyebrows among the fashion set by filling the catwalk with striking heeled platform brogues and cropped tailored trousers.

Described as "high fashion meets cross-dressing", Anderson's male models each had their bare ankles on show, known in the business as 'mankles'.

They also carried man bags (one was a leather handbag styled as a workman's bucket) and rolls of gaffer tape worn as bangles.

There were also tight sheer ponchos and arm-restricting knits to give the industry Press plenty to write about.

"Noble, strong, a proud label with a feminist stance – the powerful JW Anderson show on Tuesday ignited the London Collections: Men and rekindled the masculine-feminine debate in 21st-century fashion," wrote the New York Times.

"... the power of this show was in its workmanship and its use of unusual fabrics".

Anderson, whose father is Irish rugby legend Willie Anderson, grew up in Co Londonderry before moving to London where he studied menswear at the London College of Fashion. His own label, JW Anderson, was launched in 2008.

The young talent is known for pushing and blurring the boundaries between women's and men's fashion.

Explaining his latest designs, Anderson said: "It was a mix of awkwardness and fragility, the idea of broken aristocracy, as if people in a call centre had a lightning bolt go through them."

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