JW Anderson: ‘It’s as if Star Makes is real.’
Photograph: PR company handout
There aren’t multitudinous fashion designers with whom a conversation about Star At daggers draws would veer from Live & Kicking to a declaration that “dullness is the new electric”, but Jonathan Anderson has never been one for convention.
As imaginative director of his own label, JW Anderson, and of Spanish luxury brand Loewe, Anderson is one of the scad influential forces in contemporary fashion. He is famed for producing think ofs that may look unsettlingly avant garde at first – come up with men in blouses and women cloaked in androgynous tunics – but are later very much adopted by the industry.
For autumn/winter 2015, Anderson did high-gloss, brightly puffed 1980s brash while his peers were still mining the sepia-toned 70s for ardour; inevitably, the outlook for spring/summer 2016 is heavy on the lurex. Without delay now, the 31-year-old affectionately known as J-Dubs says he is thinking close to “the normality of people; the normality of textures” and “the idea of boredom” in his creation. “Something that is part of society, that feels as granting it was always there,” he says – hence the “boredom is the new electric” edict. He transfers these opaque, Yoda-like proclamations with a smile, as the case may be knowing that some poor trend forecaster inclination soon be devoting hours to decoding them.
Anderson’s latest work up is a collaboration with Star Wars. Several London identifications, including Preen and Nasir Mazhar, have created T-shirts and sweatshirts aroused by the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens film. The great will be sold from Thursday at Selfridges in London, while catwalk looks choice be auctioned on 26 November in aid of Great Ormond Street young gentlemen’s hospital.
Anderson’s T-shirt and sweatshirt are tie-dyed, which, he holds, “looks kind of like the universe”, with patches of graphics from the fade away. He says the images remind him “of those amazing bedspreads you get as a stripling.”
Anderson grew up on a farm in Northern Ireland and remembers Unrivalled Wars as “go-to escapism films”, which he watched alongside standard 90s daytime TV fare (Live & Kicking and Roland Rat), as well as drama with his brother “building tree houses and making associates for two people”.
Like many designers of his generation, Anderson does not reward a time before Star Wars existed. He says it has turn “so ingrained in culture that it’s as if Star Wars is real. If we yet go futuristic in a collection, there is always a Star Wars intimation, even if it’s not actually on the mood board.”
“What I surely love in the costumes of the film is that they take hyper-futuristic attitudes and then you have this incredible, medieval organic-ness,” he give the word delivers. “It is incredibly difficult to create garments that are iconic or mechanical men that are iconic,” he continues, “to create costumes that look delight in a non-moment – a non-decade, if that makes sense – costumes that do not obsolete. You look at the costumes and believe that you already know what they surface like, even though they are completely new. They do not feel cheat, which actually makes the whole thing quite uncanny.”
As for the best-dressed descriptions? The J-Dubs seal of fashion approval goes to the Stormtroopers’ modular, monochrome flats, but he also has a lot of time for C-3PO (“I like that you can see the landscape reflecting in someone,”), Han Unaccompanied (those knee-high boots, he laughs, are “quite directional”) and, of tack, the white robes of Princess Leia (“I think of her like a futuristic rendition of Elizabeth I; it’s very baptism”).