February 21, 2012 London
Instead, he showed ever-so-wrong-but-right chunky, garish knits, layers of quilted leather (including hats, aprons, and laptop clutches), op art-ish prints inspired by the catering industry, and razzle-dazzle pineapple and Pomeranian pins placed just wrongly, just so. There was humor infused in this graphic assault on good taste. There were also great clothes when each look was pulled apart. Anderson's skill in approaching archetypal garments and textures and recontextualizing them was as evident as ever.
"To dream, you have to see clothes as an image," he said, pointing to the influence of photography on the composition of his collections and clothing. David Sims is one of his constant inspirations, and it showed. "This is the idea of an isolated character—in a chip shop," he added, only half joking. That statement reveals perhaps more than the 27-year-old Northern Irish designer even intended. It calls to mind "Isolated Heroes," the 1999 collaboration between David Sims and Raf Simons, the designer to which Anderson's generation is most indebted. That debt was clear here, but so was Anderson's own peculiar mix of British Isles boredom and wit. It points to the teenage influences that are often called upon, without even thinking about it, to reinvigorate fashion, together with the guts it takes—on the part of both designer and customer—to make a fashion statement. That's what Anderson wants to see again. And he's right; menswear needs it.