The arts and crafts moment currently taking place at the J.W. Anderson studio reached its climax at Yeomanry House on Saturday afternoon as the designer maxed things out in the geometry department. Multiple architectural silhouettes played canvases to various body modifying elements, which seemed to pop up everywhere you looked. The show notes referred to it as 'slicing and dicing': folds, creases, pleats; wrapping, nipping, and knotting. Dresses covered in 3D origami unmistakably hinted at a strong Yohji Yamamoto influence, but the collection didn’t draw on the twinkle-in-the-eye ease of the Japanese designer’s universe. Instead, there was an austere solemnity about it, which was also a complete extension of Anderson’s men’s show in June, and one that preoccupied itself as much with gender manipulation as its masculine counterpart.
Whether it was the neutrality of the all-white venue, the repetitive structure of an avant-garde easy-listening soundtrack, or the blandness of a pool sandal, everything in the show and collection seemed designed as if to appear indefinable, or perhaps characterless. And yet, in the middle of the gender bender orgy, little specks of femininity showed their pretty face, most notably in the shape of sequined summer skirts, which lifted the collection to a less serious level, which suited the J.W. Anderson aesthetic a lot. The same was the case with two bags – a robust evening number and a drawstring sack – which quietly infused the collection with an always welcomed dose of glamour. Here come the girls.