Fashion is important as a means of interpreting social attitudes and values in a particular period of time.
In changing retail, J.W. Anderson’s concept space in London’s Ace Hotel features more than just clothing. Combining culture and fashion in one hybrid pop-up, the space displays a carefully curated selection of different artists works, for a new type of consumer experience.
The 250 square foot space showcases J.W. Anderson’s seasonal fashion collection along with a number of creatives, including ceramicists, singers, photographers and editors whose works are meant to compliment his collection, offer select luxury- and because the artists change regularly, repeatedly draw visitors back to the store.
Personalisation is the key to what Anderson intends for his workshops. Inspired by the early 20th century Bloomsbury Group’s Omega Workshop’s bespoke artists, Jonathan Anderson sees an opportunity to match his artists friends works with buyers who prefer something more individualistic.
The idea is good. As a fashion designer individualism has been a consistent message in J.W. Anderson collections. The challenge the designer faces is to appeal to the pop-culture driven society of today. Although the young designer is very well received in the fashion world his contemporary collections are highly conceptual and typically run against fashion trends which now refers to mass culture, and all of the influences that color it – current slang, movies, television, music, products, and technology. And while some may feel more comfortable following a trend set for them. Anderson hopes that others may want to express their individuality.
A look at the artists Anderson has tapped so far is promising. Last month Anderson featured Spanish editor Luis Venegas of EY! Magateen, The Printed Dog, and C☆NDY. Luis Venegas shot the images for J.W. Anderson’s new photo book The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain. Venegas’ work is vibrant and youthful.
This month will see Anderson’s collaborative efforts with Ian David Barker, who photographed gay culture in the 80s.
Only 30 days in the project is very young, so time will tell if the public accepts what Anderson has created.
Of course it is the individual curation of the J.W. Anderson team and the careful mix of his brand with the bespoke offerings that can help or hinder his goals.
We hope for the best.