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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

JW Anderson: Say It Loud

21 Сентября 2015


Brassieres so teeny-tiny that they would barely fit a pre-teen, and shoulders so puffed up they would do justice to King Henry VIII — for Jonathan Anderson, fashion is spelt out in capital letters.
Is that a wise or a weird thing?


It is invigorating to see a designer taking a stand for style. And JW had plenty to say, although the collection was not all leg o' mutton sleeves and intergalactic body suits. There were stylish trousers worn with a graphic T-shirt and twin shoulder bags, their straps criss-crossing the body. It was hard to tell whether that was a geometric gesture, a riff on fashion's handbag obsession or a reminder that JW has a day job as designer of the Spanish leather house Loewe.



"It's a women's odyssey, the idea of trying something that looked airtight," said the designer, explaining that he had been watching Public Speaking, Martin Scorsese's documentary about Fran Lebowitz, and asking: "creativity: what does it means today?


"I wanted looks that were uncompromising and to transform shirting to look like leather that in turn looks like rubber — to take fabric and make it airtight.'



Phew! That was a complex explanation for clothes that indeed took no compromises. The collection reminded me of the big fashion statements of the 1980s, not least when I was looking at Keith Haring graffiti-esque squiggles from neck to gathered ankles, although the puff sleeves were white.



It has been a while since a designer was willing to make such a raw statement about sex, as when a laced-up midriff corset was added to a tiny bra, zippers were embedded at the diaphragm or lacy shorts appeared under the hem of a dress.




But Jonathan Anderson's story was also about strength: power women inside their otherworldly uniforms of vast sleeves and full trousers, both gathered at the extremities. Then, unexpectedly, among all these grand gestures would appear a pretty pink dress frilled at the front and hem.


I enjoyed seeing the designer, only 31 years old, push himself to the limits of his imagination - with one proviso: that he does not use his own line as a laboratory of ideas to deliver for Loewe. No designer, however talented, can afford to do that.


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