Belfast Telegraph

JW Anderson makes his point at London Fashion Week

By Steven Alexander

The designer son of an Irish rugby legend has emerged from the scrum of London Fashion Week with his reputation as one of the world's leading fashion names enhanced.

Jonathan 'JW' Anderson (31), the son of Willie Anderson, side-stepped Ireland's rugby World Cup game to unleash his latest bold creations on the catwalk.

The Magherafelt man's brand, JW Anderson, is now stocked in high-fashion outlets across the world, including Barneys and Selfridges.

He is also creative director at the Spanish accessories maker Loewe, owned by French luxury giant LVMH.

"When you come from a small town, you want things to be big," he said last year.

On Saturday, Anderson's androgynous models showed off what he described backstage as "a woman's odyssey".

"The idea that if you took a date in time and sliced it through and looked at what everyone was doing at that time - would it mean anything? And would it matter if it didn't?" he said cryptically.

"This was an exercise in not compromising," he added.

He might have left a few puzzled looks after that explanation of his theme, but once again the critics loved his sense of adventure.

Vogue's Sarah Mower gushed: "Jonathan Anderson classifies as an experimental avant-garde designer in that sense, a leader.

"But at another just as crucial level, he's a clear-headed maker of product.

"Break down this collection, and it's full of items to take away just as they are: many ribbed knits as tunics and pants, neat pantsuits in compact jersey, fluid printed midi skirts, a frill-fronted A-line dress, and a tracksuit covered in net. Then, bags, worn two at a time, cross-body, like panniers."

Elle UK's Rebecca Lowthorpe was equally impressed.

"There were some absolutely brilliant pieces - particularly the most stringent in black and cream that relied on cut, above all else. And those messenger bags that came two at a time, worn on each hip, will be the sell-outs here," she wrote.

"It all did as he intended. Pushed at the new.

"And was indeed creatively in the now."

Jonathan's father was capped 27 times for Ireland between 1984 and 1990, some as captain.

And as captain against the All Blacks, he once led his side into a confrontation as his opponents performed the haka.

Belfast Telegraph


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