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Florence

J.W.Anderson

Spring 2018 Menswear

Florence

J.W.Anderson

Spring 2018 Menswear

Florence

BY William Buckley

June 15, 2017

Pitti Uomo’s outdone itself again. For Spring 2017, the fair’s guest designer was Raf Simons, who just scooped up both the CFDA’s Men’s and Womenswear Designer of the Year Awards for his work at Calvin Klein. This season, Pitti’s guest designer is London darling J.W.Anderson. Pitti knows how to pick ’em.

In true Anderson fashion, the event felt even more exclusive than Pitti seasons past, in part because of the heightened level of security. All attendees were advised that they must have a hard copy invite, to be picked up at the Pitti office on pain of death, and were strictly forbidden to take our own transportation, presumably upon some pain even worse than death. We were given the coordinates of three locations across Florence, and were advised we could take our pick, but that we must be there within a strict 15 minute window to be shuttled to the show location. 

Those who snagged a spot on the crowded shuttles made it on time for the show, i.e. 45 minutes late. For the second time, we were asked for our hard copy invites (the first when we boarded the buses) and those invites were checked against iPad guest lists. And when we finally passed the last of the gatekeepers, it was well worth the tricky logistics 10 times over.

The imposing Florentine palazzo, for whatever reason bequeathed to NYU, was a beauty, and the gardens were breathtaking. Someone had gone to great pains to place citronella candles everywhere so fashion wasn’t eaten alive in the Tuscan summer, and big J.W. pillows were positioned on either side of a long grass lawn where we were all seated.

The first look was fun—a tan trench covered in silver hearts. Jonathan Anderson has never much struck me as a heart kind of guy, but I liked it. Then the second look was a bigger surprise—white tee, tan chinos. I’m not adverse to a little normcore now and again, but I am wary of a plain white tee that probably costs a couple hundred quid. Things picked up, though, particularly when it came to the denim with Coca-Cola patches that reminded me of those sometimes maligned but undeniably iconic Von Dutch ones. Loved.

There were more hearts—many more, in red covering a Perfecto-style moto jacket that was figuratively and emotionally life, and on shirts and tees and a few extra trenches for good measure.

That tongue-in-chic use of the Coca-Cola logo cropped up in various other forms, and one tee riffed on old wartime propaganda posters with Anderson himself in military uniform holding a coffee cup. “Militant men wear…J.W.Anderson.” Similarly, to the love hearts, humor isn’t something I much associate with Anderson’s aesthetic. One of the most talented humans in fashion, but more serious and, perhaps, irreverent than funny. I would expect to love his collections with or without the humor though, and love it I did. Despite being a touch toned-down, this new direction was exciting. Oh, and did I mention the Converse collab? There was a Converse collab, and it spoke to Anderson’s embrace of a more approachable aesthetic. His athletic lap around the runway at the end of the show was quite exciting too. 

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