“is there a prize for the stupidest outfit at men’s fashion Week in london...? if so, one of these must be the Winner.”
So screamed a Daily Mail headline the morning after JW Anderson’s groundbreaking spring/summer 2013 menswear show—a collection of tunics and lace trousers that has been credited with pioneering the genderless fashion that has since become widespread.
The morning I meet Jonathan Anderson in his studio, a sun-lit three-storey converted warehouse in Dalston, East London, he apologises for being quieter than usual; he has a rare hangover from the night before and is nursing a large cup of coffee while we talk. But the moment I mention the many Daily Mail articles devoted to his work, he throws his head back and laughs. “Oh they hate me,” he says in his lilting Northern Irish accent. “I mean, they really, really hate me. I’m sure they said something about me humiliating all my male models with my girly clothes. And forcing respectable British men to wear skirts. Wonderful stuff. Frankly, I was delighted— you know you’ve made it when the Daily Mail is rude about you.”
Ever since he exploded into the fashion world in 2008 with his inaugural menswear collection, Anderson has worked long and hard to establish himself as a designer to be reckoned with. He is known for his