June 17, 2013 London
The nuts and bolts of his Spring menswear silhouette was an oversize trouser with a kind of tunic top, often in silk-lined sponge he compared to cheap headphones' foam. He fussed and knotted it about the neckline—an obsessive new point of focus—and gave it flyaway panels and dangling tails but stripped off sleeves (occasionally in favor of wraparound arm restraints, an idea he's been toying with in womenswear for seasons). It was long and lean, with a frosty elegance, but also just enough cartoonishness to make you wonder if he was taking the piss. But no, he explained: "When I think of a man, I think of that column architecture."
Some designers gloss their references with mods, punks, or movie stars. Fewer fantasize about columns. The potential downside of having so freewheeling a conversation about the possibilities of men's clothing—what, really, is off the table?—is that it reduces men to mere architecture on which to hang it. Then again, women like Nan Kempner used to call themselves clothes hangers with pride. So the ongoing dialogue continues. In the here and now, there's the odd but unassailable fact that Anderson staged the day's most compelling show.