In every project runway series by the 3rd or 4th task the undyingly fantabulous Tim Gun announces the task where the designers cannot use any fabrics. He escorts them to the hardware shop where they have to think an original way to use materials to make something that will WOW Heidi, Nina, Michael and whichever fashion related celebrity they can get to guest judge. How do they usually win this task? Stay away from anything that resembles long sheets of fabric, be clever with your fastenings and make it exciting.
The whole point of this challenge is to make the designers think outside the box. Creativity sometimes comes down to reverting back to your childhood. The days when our imagination used to run free and in our minds we would transform our bed rooms into undersea castles, battle ships, or our own pizzeria. Obviously we all had different imaginations and mine was to be a warrior merman that enjoyed pizza, who can blame me?
Earlier this year men’s fashion took a great turn introducing some phenomenal pieces on the catwalk, Dries Van Noten, Mugler and Ann Demeulemesster brought wit and style to their shows. So now let’s have a look at a more recent designer J.W Anderson.
For the spring/summer 2012 J.W Anderson created this wonderfully playful collection.
Psychedelic paisley floating like one hell of a good trip combined with what looks like a teal and orange neon warrior monkey gives the sense of humour yet tranquillity with the white background.
What I truly appreciate about this collection is the idea of bringing back crocheting. T-shirts panelled with simple crocheted hexagons, and some fully devised by them. It is a simple and very old technique of knitting by using a small crochet needle. I have fond memories of my mother and aunties sitting around teaching me how to crochet; the funny thing is the hexagon was the only thing I could make. It would always be the beginning of a hat I used to say. Either way J.W Anderson uses this traditional method with a modern twist (literally). To be truthful we don’t usually see this in knitwear these days anyway. It has become as mundane as dark colours that we have all become so uniform to. This is an interesting and fun way of introducing colour to men’s wear.
My personal favourite pieces are the one with the small ‘appliqued’ bits of leather reminiscent of the tab of a fizzy drink can that construct the layered of both shorts and tops. It’s simple, easy and effective- just the way we like it.
To man the collection up a bit J.W Anderson created amazingly large rucksacks that are woven with vivacious coloured fastening still introducing colour yet keeping its form and shape masculine.
The great think about this collection is that when looking past all the quirks, its very well cut and tailored- keeping the traditional aspect of men’s fashion.
As a whole the collection is very masculine in the way that it is put together as if someone has gotten random items found in a hardware shop, or lying around at your grandmother’s house and decided to tack them together and produce an exciting collection. Every piece genuinely puts a smile on my face, for some reason it makes me feel very young again. I believe this is all down to the use of colour content and finish. It could have easily been pushed too far and been a joke, but J.W Anderson knows his boundaries and when to pull back before it gets too much.