The model and actor Hari Nef—who walked in JW Anderson’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection in a London casino yesterday afternoon—summarised Jonathan Anderson’s magic perfectly. “A teenage dream come true to walk for the least predictable designer on planet earth,” she wrote on Instagram after the show. “Let’s never stop transforming or wearing wigs or hunting prey or being the trade one wishes to see in the world. Clothes are scripts I think.”
It’s a sentiment that Anderson himself no doubt would have loved. Having spent the last 15 years developing a reputation as the British fashion industry’s wacky wunderkind, Anderson finds himself among the most esteemed designers in the country. His namesake label’s runway presentations (he also designs for Loewe) are the most coveted tickets at any given London Fashion Week.
There’s a good reason for that, as attendees of his S/S ‘23 collection can attest to. Housed at a buzzing casino in the heart of Soho, right next to Anderson’s flagship London store, the collection was inspired by “stock digital pictures you can find on the internet and buy for a dollar”. The end result was a kind of palimpsest of internet-y imagery—jersey bodysuits and handbags with kitschy tropical prints, soft cotton halterneck dresses with giant keyboard letters affixed at the hip (J, W, and A, naturally), an Instagram-breaking mini dress in the shape of a large, metallic chrome egg.
Mia Regan, this season’s It-girl du jour, appeared on the runway in a crinkled shirt dress with a large picture of the earth on it (a statement about half-hearted millennial clicktivism? Or perhaps I’m reading into things). Elsewhere, Anderson’s reverence for the surreal appeared through mini dresses fashioned to look like a plastic bag holding a goldfish, and an oversized ‘sweater dress’ with the silhouette of a jumper cut out, turned upside down, and affixed to the bodice.
What was most surprising was the more wearable elements—Emily Ratajkowski was dressed down in an oversized black tee, distressed jeans (though they were fabulously sequin-embellished), and green Croc-style sneaker-sandal hybrids. Nef wore a variation on the look: white tee, baggy tracksuit pants, chunky trainers. There was unapologetically beautiful silk, lace-embroidered slip dresses, great quilted handbags, and crystal-embellished flats. All in all, a quintessentially Andersonian effort—a little of what you know and love, and a love of what you never knew you needed.