Jonathan Anderson, fashion’s ever-audacious provocateur, took Milan Fashion Week Men’s by storm (or perhaps snuck in through a keyhole?) with his JW Anderson Fall/Winter 2024 men’s show, a daring experiment that flirted with the boundaries of both dress and convention. In a move unprecedented on the menswear runway, Anderson eschewed pants almost entirely, leaving his models to strut in little more than sheer black tights and playful knitwear.
Gone were the traditional sartorial trappings of masculinity. Instead, oversized poinsettia brooches bloomed on sweatshirts, mischievous cat-face sweaters winked at the audience, and deconstructed tuxedo shirts sprouted streamer-like sleeves that danced with every step. One particularly daring model even walked the runway wearing nothing but deodorant-a statement as bold as it was, well, personal.
This wasn’t just a wardrobe malfunction; it was a deliberate deconstruction of masculinity, a playful peek beneath the tailored veneer. This season’s JW Anderson man wasn’t afraid to bare himself, literally and figuratively. He was an intimate portrait, sketched in cashmere and tights, inviting us to look beyond the surface and into the complexities of male identity.
But lest you think Anderson has abandoned fashion altogether, fear not. The collection offered plenty of sartorial delights alongside its unconventional undergarments. Sumptuous double-faced coats that resembled oversized teddy bears wrapped the models in cozy luxury. Cotton blousons and fuzzy cardigans paired with baggy cargo pants evoked a disarmingly domestic sensuality. Even the classic trench coat was given an Andersonian makeover, with rakish epaulettes and tabbed lapels, a touch of military precision amid the whispered intimacy.
While the men’s collection pushed boundaries, the women’s Pre-Fall 2024 offering revelled in its newfound freedom. Mini trenches with a hint of military bravado mingled with t-shirt dresses with playfully off-kilter skirts. Cocktail numbers plunged deep into V-necks, their built-in gloves playfully doubled with an extra pair, dangling like forgotten secrets. Even cardigans, typically symbols of cozy comfort, became objects of subversive glamour, their wool bodies puffed out with satin linings to mimic the overstuffed elegance of a profiterole.
The inspiration for this sartorial smorgasbord? A chance viewing of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘’Eyes Wide Shut’’ on a lazy August afternoon. Mesmerized by the film’s provocative interiors and Christine Kubrick’s haunting artwork, Anderson saw a reflection of his own creative desires. The widow Kubrick, a prolific painter and quiet collaborator on her husband’s masterpieces, became a muse for Anderson, her figurative paintings adorning cashmere sweater dresses like whispered dreams come to life.
“Queer,” Daniel Craig’s upcoming William S. Burroughs adaptation, also played a role in shaping Anderson’s vision. “Weird and perversely domestic,” he called his Fall/Winter 2024 collection, a phrase that perfectly captures the unsettling intimacy that permeated the show. This wasn’t just fashion; it was a glimpse into Anderson’s psyche, a tapestry woven from Kubrickian shadows, domestic bliss, and a subversive wink at traditional gender roles.
There’s more to unpack here than a single article can handle. The psychology at play in Anderson’s work is a labyrinth worth exploring, one that forces us to question, deconstruct, and ultimately see fashion not just as clothing, but as a canvas for the complexities of the human experience.
©Photo: JW Anderson