Belfast Telegraph

Northern Irish designer JW Anderson is toast of London Fashion Week

By Maureen Coleman

He is the man behind Topshop's most successful designer collaboration to date, counts Alexa Chung among his celebrity fans and has been snapped up by Versace's sister line Versus to create a collection.

And on Monday night, Northern Irish designer JW Anderson – the son of Irish rugby legend Willie Anderson – was the toast of London Fashion Week (LFW) as his A/W 2013 womenswear collection was hailed a resounding success.

Tipped as one of LFW's must-see shows, the 29-year-old Magherafelt man had the fashion pack buzzing after unveiling his latest collection at the Topshop Show Space during the 8pm prime-time slot.

The models took to the concrete runway fashionably late, dressed in a selection of edgy, androgynous looks, all teamed with white plimsolls.

The designer stayed true to his signature style of genderless garments – "things that can be borrowed from a man to a woman and from a woman to a man".

Stand-out looks included a full length, fluid, cardinal red funnel neck frock, with splits back and front and a monochrome boat neck dress, giving a nod to a nun's habit.

Colours were muted and shapes deconstructed, with the collection a lot more minimalist than his S/S range.

In the front row was model/presenter Alexa Chung, who has been championing his collection. Dressed in JW Anderson jumper and gored skirt, she jumped to her feet at the end of the show to applaud the designer.

Editor of online fashion magazine Sugahfix.com, Katrina Doran, praised JW's new collection.

"It was a very minimalistic range and was subtly sexy," she said. "I particularly loved the red dress, that gave the impression of a jumpsuit as it revealed the model's legs as she moved down the catwalk.

"He's a very intelligent designer and I loved his use of innovative fabrics."

Canadian fashion magazine Flare took to Twitter after the show: "Nice repetition of similar looks in totally different fabrics such as wool and leather. Somehow the effect works in each."

Another LFW supporter took to Twitter to applaud the collection.

He wrote: "@JW_Anderson just proved why he's the most wanted designer in England #lady in red".

A fan of separates, JW prioritises practicality when designing clothes.

He says he wants his clothes to be not just wearable, but affordable and original too. Referring to the success of his Topshop collaboration, he said: "It worked because it was wearable."

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