The buzz has been building for J.W. Anderson, but his first pre-fall collection suggests the ever-increasing attention hasn't turned his head. The big retailers and magazines have come knocking, but the man retains the courage of his convictions. So when pressed for the guiding spirit behind his new collection, he offers, "people who work in food shops." And then, to clarify: he's "playing with lots of ugly colors, like in McDonald's, or Tesco."

It'd be hard to go farther to the wrong side of the tracks. But good taste is a piety for which Anderson doesn't have much time. Debating it is part of his constant conversation. And it's given a tannic spark to his collections, this one included. His swingy A-line skirts and quilted suits are part schoolgirl, part hausfrau. They have a vintage twinge, but rendered in Op Art, they're clearly from no time and nowhere but Andersonland, a place as in thrall to its own off-kilter laws as Wonderland.

Back to that statement of intent: It'd be easy to get caught up in the word ugly. But the operative one here is play. All the more so because pre-fall substituted a breezier collection of snappy, Tesco-bright pieces, including plenty of the knits for which Anderson's become justly acclaimed, for some of the more complicated, architectural investigations he shows on the runway. Fun! And in a surely related bit, he's having a good time, too. "I'd do a collection every month if I had money to," he said.