June 16, 2013 London
Her aesthetic, deeply indebted to what tends, euphemistically, to get called "urban" culture, has been consistent throughout. The difference, such as there was this time, was largely in degree rather than kind. Having flirted with commercial salability last season, Andersen dialed up the heat for her first solo outing in London. Her models, whose heft and bulk made the rest of menswear's willowy runway walkers look like tadpoles, were daubed with sweat. They wore Astrid-logo hoodies, trimmed in Danish mink and lace, and oversize basketball shorts, but here, more than in recent memory, they were on uncovered display. "I wanted to go back to the essence of the sexiness of my brand. It should be strong," said the designer. "I didn't really want to be labeled as anything yet, so we needed to throw this back in there. This is what I love. I love men in this way, looking super-sexy. I think fashion needs that."
The raw aggression and athleticism Andersen channels—in her training-gear-inspired pieces, in her casting, in her styling—recalls that of like-minded provocateurs: Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy in recent years, the great English menswear stylist Simon Foxton before that. That's not always to her credit. If her solo outing today consolidated and redoubled the approach she's been plying for seasons, it also suggested that there is a fine line between specificity and limitation. One look in particular, though, fluttered out as both sui generis and super-fabulous: a sheer jersey-cum-caftan in a New Agey crystal print.