Fashion shows feel like they have been around forever, the presence of being at a physical fashion week and attending shows and showrooms is something that is irreplaceable in its own right. During lockdown, fashion went totally digital for the first time, for some people it didn’t have the same impact as a real-life runway show however it has been reinvented.
JW Anderson is leading the way for British fashion and going digital. Instead of creating a show that has an unattainable method, he might have created a successful formula for the future. Johnathon Anderson created an immersive experience inside a box. Inside the box, it was full of a range of images, different textures, strips of different fabrics, handmade nails, strips of cotton, unfolding paper, printed card, masks, posters and dried flowers. Johnathon’s approach was very humble as it was all “created with available resources in rather extreme conditions.” He might of humbly downplayed it, but the show was full of optimism and a sense of playfulness despite events being heavily restricted due to social distancing.
The show had both men’s SS21 and women’s resort wear for ’21, with both enclosed on different sheets with perforated card to make each one look like you could disentangle it. Pol Anglada was recruited to create masks to act as fictional characters that represented ‘enlarged young male personalities’. The show had a handmade and homely feel to it, with the craftiness and DIY to compliment the patchwork designs, clashing colours and juxtaposing textures. The themes were also reflected into womenswear and replaced the menswear character with abstract circular shapes that represented a ‘tometic presence’ that transported audiences into portals into another dimension. The similar shapes and garments reflect each other across both of the collections.
Despite shows being confirmed to return in September, we are currently in a weird kind of limbo you could say. It is devoid of actual, traditional fashion however it is surrounded by creativity everywhere you look. The clothes embody the idea that feelings, the way we show ourselves and our personal status, all of them feel pretty small and like they don’t matter after all of us surviving a global pandemic. There are some people who might view JW Anderson’s project as a moment in time that captured the different emotions people have surrounding fashion and its global presence that creates joy for some many people around the world.
We might be getting London Fashion Week again in September, but we shouldn’t forget about everything that was created during lockdown. We found new ways to make a creative industry even more creative and new ways to show collections in a fun way.