J.W. Anderson's loyal followers wear their insignia proudly but discreetly. To find them, look for a small white anchor stitched on a sweater or a duffel bag. Their uniform consists of a navy pinafore over a white shirt (buttoned up to the top, of course) and patent loafers. The kinkier they get involves some hot paisley on paisley action. And they will follow him to wherever his fancy takes them. Oh, they have a code name for him. They call him J-Dubs.
Jonathan, as his passport prefers, has been busy lately. His just-launched collection for Topshop promptly sold out and you will soon be seeing bats and Casper the friendly ghost and red tortoises everywhere. It's crazy to think that S/S13 is only his fourth collection at London Fashion Week (excluding two pre-collections). Not since Christopher Kane has another designer got such a strong hold over girls' hearts. That he's terribly handsome doesn't hurt either! He deserves it all and more to come. It takes years for some designers to find their identity and a lot of tweaking to get the visual language of it right. Jonathan ticked both boxes pretty much from the get-go.
His latest offering proved that he's not one to rest on his laurels. Perhaps working on the Topshop collaboration acted as a mini retrospective, his Best Of, and now he's ready for Act Two. The white frill of a top of the opening look was a statement. It reappeared throughout, on the hems of skirts and shorts, across dresses and on small clutch bags, scrunched up. It certainly looked fresh in navy with white patent flat boots and chunky chain jewellery. The print he used this time resembled paint samples sponged on a wall and on long-sleeved wrap dresses it had that awkward/good ambivalence that Anderson negotiates so easily. City pinstripes got the J-Dubs treatment too (the collection was called The Treatment Room). This means a play on boy/girl, masculine/feminine hence those frilly pinstripe tops tied with a big bow. Two standout looks featured great motorcycle jackets (forget the ones you already have in your wardrobe, you'll want these) over matching print tops and pleated skirts whereas the shiny crinkly looks at the end looked more like a fabric experimentation still in progress.
As good as a collection this was (and it was good) it acted more as a character statement. It read something along the lines of, I will not be pigeonholed and I will keep moving forward. His J-Dubsters, and the rest, will bravely follow.