If ever there was a symbol of the growing strength of London menswear, it's J.W Anderson. He's proof that you can send your boys down the runway in frilly culottes or a lace all-in-one and still build a global brand. Those in the room who were still worried that the wunderkind would play down some of his gender-bending pizzaz post LVMH cash injection have nothing to fear. The fabric quality may have rocketed, and the finishes and fits may be better, but the point of view is old school J-Dubs.
The inspiration for S/S 15 came from bourgeoise women, naturally - why look at menswear when you can borrow from the girls? But the more outlandish feminine pieces of seasons past that have caused some to cry 'gimmick' were gone, replaced instead with looks that quietly subverted - see the fluid overcoats that at first glance looked like belted frocks, but when worn with tailored trousers looked effortlessly dapper, or the knot details that created hybrids of traditional shirts and pussy bow blouses. The stand out pieces were the opening looks; slash neck tops baring images of landscapes, created in collaboration with esteemed British textile designer John Allen. Like much of Anderson's work they had an odd beauty and appeal, which was partly nostalgic because they seemed to smack of the embroidered cushions that adorn middle class sofas (perhaps a nod to the given bourgeois inspiration) and party modern and rebellious, because graphically their soft lines and muted hues seemed so different and separate from the graphic logos and digital patterns we're seeing on so many neighbouring runways.
All in all, this was a collection that softly seduced. There's always something erotic about Anderson's work, but usually his collections veer towards all things fetishistic and perverted. This season was romantic. The usually asexual, frosty androgyny had been developed and matured into something that felt warm. How inviting.