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  • Writer's pictureErica DeMatos

At JW Anderson, Imperfect Lessons

No more pigeon clutches.


JW Anderson’s Fall/Winter 2024 show is an arbitrary study of imperfection. Described on the fashion house’s website as being about secrecy and subtlety — of having “this, that” — the collection seems unfinished; just not in the way that Anderson would like us to believe. Despite the guise of intentional undoneness, the show was desperately lacking cohesion and finesse. Posed as a study on tropes, the brand attempted to convey the art of dress that is found in undressing. But perhaps while trying to have one thing and acknowledge the other, JW Anderson perfected neither. 

The everyday casual wear juxtaposed against the public dowdiness of design is seen in the shearling boots, likely inspired by the reclamation of early aughts footwear brand Ugg, paired with a comically oversized suit jacket. Pointelle cotton matching sets a la Cou Cou Intimates or Pretties Venice deliver an overly-influenced yet uninspired meditation on wearable comfort.

Citing inspiration from English nostalgia, the collection is to be envisioned with a lens on a gardening neighbor, a world in which privacy and intimacy are blurred. Chunky knitwear and slippers imagine a lazy Sunday of chores and cleaning, complete with a grandma-esque hairdo and a red lip. There’s a semblance of pastoral coziness in the show’s presentation of sweatpants, one leg cuffed at the ankle, suggesting that the wearer quickly threw on a pair of pants and boots while running out to the shop. 

Despite these fully-formed vignettes of artistry, though, I can’t help but feel that the collection is incoherent and distanced from these memories in all actuality. Anderson presents necklines similar to a thrifted crewneck sweatshirt that you might wear to the gym. There are boxing shorts with an unflattering, flared hem above the knee. Sheer dresses gathered, twisted, and braided at the waist drape down the model’s bodies, finished with tassels at the breasts that I can only imagine are meant to evoke visions of vintage, gaudy curtains. Belts decorated with colorful flowers and long panels of fabric, not unlike party streamers, clash with the idea of British mundane life.    

In essence, the eponymous label’s newest collection is a product of confused sincerity. With JW Anderson describing the presentation as “An inquiry into dressing as a psychological act [and] looking next door,” I can only conclude that his neighbors dress in a more abstract way than my own. 

We have next season to look forward to, where these ideas may be explored in more contrast and deliver upon the idea of going unnoticed. 🌀

You can view the whole collection here.


Erica DeMatos is a writer, editor, and student based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Find her on social media at @erica_dematos.


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