British fashion brand JW Anderson channeled a “parallel world of people trapped in their computers” for their spring/summer 2023 collection at London Fashion Week.
JW Anderson, the eponymous fashion house led by designer Jonathan Anderson, presented its spring/summer 2023 collection on Saturday 17th September at the Las Vegas Arcade in London’s Soho.
A commentary on the human relationship to technology and consumption, the collection featured a range of pieces that used materials and silhouettes in surrealistic ways.
The brand’s show notes described the concept as follows: “A parallel world of people trapped in their computers, mingling with keyboards and screensavers, exploring other dimensions. Nature is filtered by the digital ego and becomes a personal security. After all, the arcade isn’t just for gamers.”
Huge computer keys graced and interrupted block-colored and intentionally wrinkled dresses displayed between arcade machines.
One piece featured hundreds of computer keys from the now-obsolete off-white desktop computers of the early noughties, lined up in horizontal rows to form a halter top.
Proportions were oversized throughout the show. A dress in the shape of a plastic bag was tied at the shoulder and printed with an image of a child looking through a bag filled with water and holding a goldfish.
“Proportions that go mega, technology that shimmers and shines degraded,” said JW Anderson of the pieces.
“Objects locked into clothes and those screensavers that land over the body, on bags and accessories: that’s what happens in the arcade,” the brand continued.
“The message is one of realism – for whatever real may mean today – conveyed with a reductionist language that imposes the status of blunt statement on each piece.”
While some pieces symbolized people absorbed by technology, others referred to real-world pastimes.
A string hammock was worn as the dress, while images of palm-fringed beaches – similar to those often used for screensavers – adorned body suits and accessories.
“Leisure time is important, so a hammock becomes a dress while sweaters and t-shirts hang on clothes hangers,” according to the fashion brand.
Similar to JW Anderson’s spring/summer 2023 men’s collection, in which the designer hung bicycle handles on bodies, coat hangers were reinterpreted as sweater cutouts hung upside down.
At Loewe’s Spring-Summer 2023 menswear show, also helmed by Jonathan Anderson, the Spanish fashion house sprout plants from soaked clothing.
Photography courtesy of JW Anderson.