J.W. Anderson's excellent show-note manifesto was titled "The Fear of Naturalism," and one of its basic premises—"that we don't have to let the fantastical ideals of youth collapse into the mundane realities of adulthood"—was the starting point for a collection that toyed with age, with gender, with taste. Its presiding spirit might have been Anderson's own grandmother, who wore trackies under her pinnies. Call her tracksuits under pinafores a "mature" interpretation of the masculine/feminine dialogue in the clothes. It's a conversation Anderson has been conducting in his men's collection for the past three seasons, and he probably tired of well-meaning souls telling him he'd be better off doing womenswear. Fact is, his aesthetic really did flourish today: His boy-girls were simply more interesting than his girl-boys.
Most of that was down to the way Anderson dealt with duality. He played it straightforward—or straight-backward. So what looked from the front like a pleated paisley skirt over pants turned out to be an apron from behind. A slimline variant on a man's overcoat was backed with a big black frill. The boyish knitwear was so formfitting it was practically sheer, which emphasized that it was actually a girl wearing it. Twisted and clever, if you gave it some thought. As twisted, in fact, as the little clerical collar that topped the sweaters. It was actually white latex.
The navy parka with the sequined top and the black biker with the beaded sweater were more obvious tips of Anderson's cap to boy/girl dressing. Dresses in black or white angora looked like elongated punk sweaters. More elegant, of course, but maybe there was something ultimately punk about the mood of the collection. Like Granny Anderson in her don't-give-a-f*** outfit, or the model in a paisley playsuit here. Johnnie Fingers from the Boomtown Rats used to wear his pajamas onstage. J.W. was offering his paisley version as street wear, latex-trimmed and paired with the mutant hiking boots he considers his signature item. For Fall, they'll be wearing a masculine mustache of white fur. Death to mundane reality!