How JW Anderson Made Two Whole Collections Under Lockdown

How JW Anderson Made Two Whole Collections Under Lockdown

Rarely do fans get to hear a designer's entire thought process behind a collection, with those explanations typically reserved for journalists and buyers the day of the show. But with lockdowns and travel restrictions turning the entire industry upside down, fashion has had to learn to accept and embrace a new way of doing things.

So it was a treat for many when Jonathan Anderson released an 11-minute video showing how he put together his women's resort and men's spring collections under quarantine. Rather than hold a runway show like he normally would this time of year, he opted to mail out a personalized box holding little treasures and images of his new collections.

"This season we decided to make it a piece of ephemera, this idea of mail art and using pieces of printing techniques and leftover fabrics and pressing of flowers to tell a story narrative through our our process of the lockdown quarantine," Anderson said.

He worked with the London design studio OK-RM to create all the different components of the package, which includes swatches of fabric, postcards with positive affirmations, pressed flowers (he spends a lot of time gardening) and, of course, lookbooks of his men's and women's collections. It was all wrapped neatly in leftover fabrics screen-printed with text he wrote with the help of a calligrapher.

Since he couldn't use models, Anderson had the collections photographed on bust forms and mannequins featuring cartoonish masks from artist Pol Anglada for men's and abstract masks from Bertjan Pot for the women's line. The clothes, meanwhile, exuded all kinds of comfort and coziness — from the slouchy, enveloping shapes for men to the oversized proportions for women.

For Anderson, the idea of working with mannequins again and reverting back to ideas of craft (his recalled memories of his grandmother passing her needlepoint to him) was rather emotional. "I found this whole process quite cathartic in a weird way because it made me feel that I've restarted my brand somehow," he said. "I think it's been a really beautiful process to slow down and embrace what we do best... I will always remember doing [this collection]."

See, below, to hear Anderson explain everything in full.

Photos courtesy of JW Anderson