Inspired by the art of story telling
Fashion Ones To Watch: JW Anderson

Inspired by the art of story telling and youth culture, Ireland’s hottest export, JW Anderson, is about to show at London Fashion Week.

Here he gives us the exclusive behind his next ‘The Devoured and I’ collection about to show at London Fashion Week.
For his current A/W collection, Anderson embarked on an epic crusade depicting the incongruous notion of ‘The Saint And The Assassin’. He mixed tartan with knits and Doc Martens, giving a modern punk-rock edge. He continues to follow youth culture for next year’s collection, ‘The Devoured And I’.

“Next it is a story about lovers, kind of like The Virgin Suicides, running away to San Francisco in the 1950s and doing loads of LSD... it’s all about having an LSD trip!’ he laughs.

“I am doing a men’s and women’s collection for NEWGEN this year so I want to explore the relationship between boy and girl, man and woman, losing control with each other.”

The designer is working with Swarovski who are making crystallized shoes, and there is lots of ’50s denim in the collection, creations inspired by photographers like William Gedney and Karlheinz Weinberger - taking denim to a fetish level.

Heavily inspired by art and literature, Anderson “hates fashion with no

The Irishman is very proud of where he comes from and it has obviously influenced his approach. “I have realised Irish culture is all about story telling, going down a pub listening to an old man with his dog and drinking way too much alcohol - just like the cliché.’

His mother is a literature teacher, a huge fan of James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Seamus Heaney. “Ireland has produced some of the greatest writers to come out of the twentieth century,” says Anderson.

He is also fascinated by an Irish designer from the ’50s, Digby Morton, and strives for his recognition.

“He did all the uniforms for the women’s British Army well before Dior did, a really unsung person for that type of women’s suiting. There is a famous image done by Cecil Beaton with a women who has her back turned to a fallen down wall during the Blitz; everyone thinks it’s a Dior suit, but it’s actually a Digby Morton suit!”

Anderson enjoys the crossover between men’s and women’s wear, how things can be borrowed from a woman’s style to men’s and vice versa.

Anderson’s future plans, like many designers at the moment, involves film - he has begun work with photographer Sharif Hamza on a video in the Hamptons - again pursuing a Virgin Suicides theme. He is also working with photographer Matthew Mumford exploring Shakespeare’s sonnets with model Matthew Hitt.

Patti Smith is playing in Anderson’s studio when Clash visits - he confesses he would love to dress her. Other definite music inspirations are Jimi Hendrix and Devendra Banhart. “He’s so hot! I love the ‘Carmensita’ video.”

He also listens to a lot of Sebastian Perrin, who does music for the Givenchy shows, and he loves how Madonna was captured by Steven Klein. “If only all my shows could be like a Steven Klein video…!”

Well, good luck with this one - we are sure it will be just as amazing.

Words by Camilla Felici

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