For Fall/Winter 2023, the label looked back on its last 15 years, splicing its radical iconography with that of legendary choreographer Michael Clark
“Looking back is not something I do very often,” Jonathan Anderson writes in his show notes, “but occasionally it feels necessary as a way to move forward. The past can be a lens that brings the future into focus.”
This revelation brought Anderson face to face with Michael Clark—the pioneering Scottish dancer, whose 1980s practice tangled the boundaries between art, fashion, music, and gay nightlife—“not only a choreographer of bodies, but of British culture at large.” The designer’s own journey has its parallels to Clark’s, revolutionizing the traditions of couture and ballet, respectively. For Fall/Winter 2023, his namesake label delved into these two archives—framing history in the here-and-now, spotlighting its key moments, and starting again.
“At its core this is a collection about fandom. Fandom is a funny thing: completely personal, frequently irrational, often embarrassing.”
The resulting collection—staged fittingly under the dome of the Roundhouse, Camden’s beloved live performance space—featured standout elements from the last 15 years of JW Anderson: anchors and sailor stripes, checked asymmetrical coats, boas and ruffles and tubular collars. It was spliced with Clark’s own iconography: iterations on his infamous posters, distressed sweaters with sleeves dipped in glitter, and his name, stamped simply in neon green.
All in all, the presentation mapped Anderson’s path to rebellion, identifying Clark as the muse that would come to reshape London design, however indirectly. “At its core,” he writes, “this is a collection about fandom. Fandom is a funny thing: completely personal, frequently irrational, often embarrassing… It helped me pinpoint my own obsessions.”