London Fashion Week may be the shortest “week” of fashion month, but it’s consistently one of the most exciting — and that’s in part because it’s during LFW that Jonathan Anderson, aka J.W. Anderson, shows his collections. Season after season, the Northern Irish designer — also the creative director for Spanish luxury house Loewe — loads up his namesake line with thoughtful, complex pieces piled on top of one another in a way that’s often intentionally mismatched. There’s a method to his madness, but it’s up to the viewer to deconstruct and comprehend it for herself.
So here’s my brief takeaway of J.W. Anderson spring 2017: The early aughts are back, and there’s really nothing to be done about it but crank up “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” and enjoy the ride. At just 32, Anderson is one of the youngest designers to show during fashion month — so his references this season were on point for someone who came of age during that era of trends.
Of the 43 looks that walked his narrow runway, only two of those included pants. The rest were skirts and dresses, many of them with hemlines that brought me back to the days when my “to buy” list consisted of everything ever worn by Summer Roberts and Marissa Cooper. I’m talking bubble hems and handkerchief hems — and lots of ’em. Hey, Vogue called it.
Asymmetrical hemlines were present on both midi and maxi-length pieces, with some featuring layers of fabric in varying lengths all around, and others coming to a longer point on just one side of the body. The bubble hems were subtle, hitting at the knee or below. Some of them almost resembled harem pants, minus the drop crotch.
Of course, the styling was a million times more luxe than how I remember the 2000s versions being. In lieu of pairing them with embellished tank tops, Anderson’s skirts were topped with sophisticated shells, quilted utility statement jackets, and the odd (in more ways than one?) Seinfeldian puffy shirt. The palette helped too: Most of the pieces were muted and desert-toned, with a few denim and sweet, pastel sunset hues tossed into the mix.
One more thing: As is often the case with Anderson’s collections, the shoes ruled. The round-toe ballet flats and lace-up boots were lovely and badass, respectively, but I couldn’t stop staring at the menswear-style Oxfords, each of which seemed to have something unique and surprising about it. Some were woven in a single color, others were checkerboard, and some might have even had a creepy face on them? But I was mostly taken by the tartan version, which — while I realize they’re technically for spring/summer — I’d die to be wearing this very instant.
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