September 17, 2012 London
Easy? No thanks. Anderson's priority with this collection was, he insisted, "breaking the code," meaning abandoning whatever comfort zone he'd created for himself. There was some irony in the fact that what came next was actually his most fully realized and accessible collection. Anderson carried over his gender games. The models had spit-smart schoolboy hair, but he imagined them as the "older, hyper-feminine" counterpart of the men he showed in June. He dressed them in masculine pinstripes, but tied them in a huge bow. In a typically surreal touch, he emphasized their womanliness by draping a clumsy swatch of black, "like a bad brassiere," across puffy, printed satins.
The designer called his collection "The Treatment Room," imagining it as "a lab where problems are worked out and solutions are found." There was certainly enough of that. But his convoluted thought processes also ran to irresistible merino knits, dissected so that what wasn't there was just as important as what was. Here, the cerebral intention actually paled beside the physical execution. The knits were pretty. Pretty? Anderson blanched.