At Milan fashion week, JW Anderson put on a big show while releasing its unconventional resort 2024 Womenswear collection alongside it’s Spring/Summer Menswear collection. Taking inspiration from Jonathan Anderson’s own cultural experiences, the collection explores themes of turning familiar objects into art.
In an allusion to familiarity in the Creative Director’s life, Anderson chose to decorate the set with huge blue and white stripes reminiscent of the famous British ceramic style Cornishware. Anderson, explained that “things that are part of the household and become part of the psychology… things that are around you become part of you subconsciously.”
Much of the collection has a sporty look to it, with rugby shirts being one of the main themes. These shirts were reimagined with flattering puffy cuts and knit materials, subverting the typical style and making the shirt that has seen very little runway time fit right in.
Rugby shirts were central to Anderson’s own life, as his father was captain of Ireland's Rugby Union team. He also came on stage at the end of the evening wearing an unreleased Ireland Rugby shirt for the upcoming Rugby World Cup in France— a perfect way for Anderson to celebrate his father at the show that took place on Father's Day.
Big V cuts starting just below the collar were another common sight. Sweatshirts, dresses, pullovers, and big knit sweaters all utilized this cut. Knit became a main theme of the collection, with Anderson estimating that nearly 70% of it being knitwear. He took knit so far that he even constructed two looks out of dozens of balls of yarn. Another knit top looks as if it was made out of layered mop heads. Anderson explained these looks saying, “Knitting has become such a craze, and this is going back to the raw materials.”
Nothing was safe from his enthusiasm towards knit, and it ended up being used on dresses, clogs, bags, shorts, and loungewear. Not only did the material add interesting texture to the pieces, but Anderson was able to manipulate the medium to create clothing with unique cuts that could stand on their own.
Beyond the knit, there were also two mid-length leather overcoats that stood out as stand-alone pieces. Likely inspired by Anderson’s beloved leather armchair, he shows us again how to find beauty in the everyday. He shows us yet again how he lets the material do as much talking as the artistry. Anderson has explained his obsession with material, and he has been able to curate this obsession to surround himself with inspiration.
Anderson showed how to take inspiration from seemingly the simplest things and make them work for you. He played with deeply ingrained childhood memories and brought his subconscious to life. The JW Anderson show taught us how to turn ordinary into extraordinary.