JW Anderson: Menswear AW20
Only two days after Northern Ireland officially legalised gay marriage, Magherafelt-native Jonathon Anderson presented his AW20 collection for JW Anderson which was based on the life and stories of David Wojnarowicz, one of the key artistic figures during the AIDS crisis period in NYC. For this outing, Anderson took it upon himself to celebrate queerness through the words and the works of Wojnarowicz, particularly focusing on his photographic self-portraits in which he wore the mask of surrealist poet Arthur Rimbaud. The masks made the invites for the show and appeared inside the venue too, covering the “faces” of mannequins which were scattered throughout the front row, wearing some of the key looks from the show including knits with Wojnarowicz’ 1982 graphics of a burning house. Not only referencing the queer communities but also giving back, Anderson partnered with PPOW London art gallery and the Estate of David Wojnarowicz to raise funds for Visual AIDS, a contemporary arts foundation founded in 1988 which celebrates and supports HIV+ artists.
If he wasn’t such an excellent fashion designer, Jonathan Anderson would also make quite a fabulous geometry teacher. Not only would his navy jumper + jeans uniform make him the star of the staff room but it’s his incredible use of shapes and lines that could teach a lesson or two. A double-breasted handkerchief check trench coat with a chunky gold chain link on the waist opened the show, creating an abstract effect of trompe l’oeil. The shape repeated throughout the show, in a variety of checks and puffer textiles. With elongated silhouettes, along with maxi column dresses worn over trousers, as well as cape-like coats, Anderson gave his men a monastic vibe. Directional and clearly influenced by his womenswear (just look at those peplum balloon tops!), this collection will remain in our memory for becoming the unexpected next chapter of JW Anderson menswear.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.