I wore… Skirt & Jumper by Kenzo, Coat by A.P.C, Bag by 3.1 Phillip Lim, Boots by Rag & Bone and vintage hat from Portobello Market
Why, oh why does J.W. Anderson insist on showing at the ungodly hour of 9am every bloody season!? I mean really, it’s just cruel. I know it doesn’t sound that early but when you consider that the Esquire party raged on until the wee hours scheduling a show that no one’s exactly going to miss before midday is a little mean. Mean, or perhaps devilishly clever as if anyone could coax a hungover fashion week-er out of bed and into something chic it’s J.W. Through grim determination I endured 25 minutes with my face in a random man’s armpit on the most crowded commuter tube probably ever and made it in time to join my bleary eyed seatmates at the show.
2013 was a pretty major year for J.W. Anderson. In September it was announced that luxury power house LVMH would be taking a minority stake in his rapidly growing label and the Northern Irish designer would be taking on the role of Creative Director for Spanish heritage brand, Loewe. J-Dubs has made quite a name for himself by pushing the boundaries of menswear to create conceptual, breathtaking collections that inevitably divide opinions and AW14 was no exception. Last season’s controversial frill hems and strapless confections gave way to long line, tabard style knitwear and bold colour blocking styled with oversized bangle eque jewellery, lace up platform shoes and accessories galore.
J.W. Anderson AW14
The collection managed to be both soft and architectural with graphic, sometimes sculptural pieces and origami folds paired with high waisted, pleat fronted cropped trousers, continuing the gender subversion J.W. Anderson does so well. Exquisite patterned co-ords in almost iridescent woven silk were offset by deliciously understated cashmere, stark, reconstructed cotton shirting and drop-shouldered leather jackets in matt, pastel hues. The effect was one of absolute precision and polish married with fearless creativity. The future sure as hell looks bright for J.W.
We exited the venue to discover that, surprise surprise, the heavens had opened. Naturally I hadn’t brought an umbrella so battled my way through the downpour getting increasingly sodden and angry. My rage was in part, directed at the fact I had to skip the Christopher Raeburn show and go in to college for a tutorial. Having only
got rid of submitted my thesis 1st draft the morning before, I was in no rush to start thinking about the next piece of work on our schedule but thankfully it proved to be more of a post-holiday catch up and soon I was back on the road and off to see James Long.
James Long AW14
For AW14 London rising star, James Long looked to sci-fi and fantastical “costume play” to concoct a collection that was out of this world (sorry, couldn’t resist). There was an urban, streetwear feel to it all, a genre that’s been done to death in recent seasons but Long managed to transform into something utterly original. Padded outerwear came constructed from different size quilting, compartmentalising the body, something that appeared as an important theme through the show. Mesh bombers came woven with ribbon paired with futuristic jogging bottoms which gave off a shimmer under the bright lights of the catwalk. Patchworking is evidently something of a menswear trend for AW14 and James Long delivered a high tech take on it, combining highlighter bright neoprene, embroidery and rubberised panelling to create an almost cubist effect. As with so many LCM collections, behind the fabric innovation, blue hair and runway ready spectacle of Long’s latest offerings were wearable, even practical garments that will transcend the fashion insider market.
Feeling distinctly less grumpy than before, I emerged into glorious sunshine (London weather = bizarre), grabbed an itsu to go and headed home for a few hours actual work. Despite all good intentions, one glance at my overflowing inbox scared me away from my laptop and the afternoon was largely spent reading GQ and fannying around on Instagram before heading back out for the YMC show.
Much as I enjoy marvelling at the conceptual creations of designers like J.W. Anderson and James Long, sometimes it’s nice to see clothes that are just, well, nice and won’t send fashion fearing men running for the hills. However that’s not for one second to say that YMC collections are dull. Every season self taught designer, Fraser Moss creates pieces of such quality they’re always a joy to behold. For AW13 he explored 20th century sportswear resulting in utility cool bomber jackets and slickly tailored tracksuit bottoms in hard wearing fabrics alongside turned up denim, laid back shirting and the delectable knitwear this brand is so loved for. The palette was one of earthy neutrals brought to life with burnt orange and rich blues. Definitely a few pieces in there to buy for the boyfriend, and then obviously steal for yourself.
Sadly I ended up missing a day of LCM due to uni related stuff (infinitely less fun than prancing around town in ridiculous shoes but hey, these things happen) so this will be my last post about the shows. However, there is of course my party round up still to come and there were some pretty incredible ones this season!
Love Ella. X