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16 Jan

JW Anderson Men’s Fall 2023

“Is there a prize for the stupidest outfit at Men’s Fashion Week in London?” a headline within the Every day Mail asked in January 2013.

Leading the list of contenders was one by designer Jonathan Anderson.

“At J.W. Anderson the humiliation of the models was made truly complete, because the designer sent out his clan of put-upon male beauties wearing frilly shorts,” the British tabloid opined.

Fast forward 10 years and people shorts are back, in leather this time and padlocked onto the waist, no less.

At a press conference before his fall show in Milan on Sunday night, Anderson marveled that the conversation around gender that seminal garment sparked rages on. He noted it’s the one which fashion museums all over the world clamor to have of their collections.

Guess what? Those ruffled bottoms, now worn only with wrestling boots, barely caused a rippled at his fall 2023 show, which also included a minidress version as a part of his women’s pre-fall collection.

Anderson has been paring down his outfits recently, and here he reached the top of bluntness. There have been a couple of eyecatching items, like shearling blousons with ruffled fronts, leather jeans with an outsize SIM card replacing the jacron label, and tubular toggle coats with S&M airs.

But over all, this collection was light on recent ideas, and quite light on clothes, a great variety of models striding out dressed only in fluffy, infantile briefs — some clutching an extended roll of woolen fabric, or hugging a pillow.

“It’s about intimacy, it’s about domestic, it’s a couple of restart,” was the chief soundbite the designer lobbed at press conference.

He seemed most enthusiastic about his collaboration with Wellipets, the British maker of rubber boots with frog eyes, famously worn by Prince William and Harry after they were children.

He also shared some news, confirming that his JW Anderson label will proceed to indicate menswear in Milan and womenswear in London, with the following show scheduled for Feb. 19.

He also revealed that his namesake home is in expansion mode, readying a Milan boutique to open this spring on the Via Sant’Andrea. Those frog-eyed shoes hit stores in April, in adult sizes only.

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