Nosey neighbours in M&S blouses inspire JW Anderson for London Fashion Week

JW Anderson - Backstage - LFW February 2024
Shampoo and set: grey curled wigs were the choice for Anderson this season - Nicky J Sims
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Rare is the day that a cutting-edge designer, showing on the catwalk at London Fashion Week, should reference Last of the Summer Wine as the inspiration for their collection.

But Jonathan Anderson, the Magherafelt-raised, self-trained, “billion-pound king of London fashion” has never dealt us the conventional.

It was ordinary British women of a certain age, though, who inspired the JW Anderson autumn 2024 collection. Models made up in grey set-curl wigs, pointelle thermals and slipper-like shoes came down the catwalk. Backstage after the show, Anderson described his muse as “the person hanging their laundry out in the garden”.

JW Anderson RTW Fall 2024 - Runway
Crew neck sweaters and shorts were teamed with the tight grey perms - WWD
JW Anderson RTW Fall 2024 - Runway
Stay warm: pointelle thermals on the runway - WWD
JW Anderson RTW Fall 2024 - Runway
Just taking out the bins: oversized coats and slippers - Eamonn M. McCormack

“I liked the idea of a nosey neighbour,” he said. “Slightly twisted in terms of a ‘woman next door’ [whose style one might usually covet].” Anderson envisaged her wearing “a Marks & Spencer blouse from the Seventies”.

“With the wig, we had this idea of glorifying age and at the same time glamourising it,” he added.

JW Anderson for their Autumn/Winter 2024 collection
Backstage: a glamourised version of grey curls - HENRY NICHOLLS

To have included some actual older women in his 39-strong lineup of models might have felt pertinent. But Anderson explained that his purpose was to highlight how obsessed his young customers today are with the idea of “nostalgia” – and particularly how quickly they can absorb it on social media and mimic it on the streets.

Kate Bush suddenly becomes really popular, or Tracy Chapman – young people are discovering nostalgia, and it becomes glorified and it feels new again,” he said. “But they consume it and discard it. It’s not a bad thing, maybe it’s exciting.”

Anderson’s complaint that there’s “no time for nosey neighbours anymore” might now lead his young followers to study the elders in their community for styling tips. Every tuck-in, cuff turn-up and hand in pocket was deliberate and considered by the exacting designer, to capture that spontaneity of his real-life muses.

JW Anderson - Runway - LFW February 2024
No stone – or cuff, hem or tuck – was left unturned - Eamonn M. McCormack

Earlier in the day, another designer sought inspiration from reality. Emilia Wickstead scanned photographer Garry Winogrand’s authentic 1960s New York street images, picking well-dressed women out of the crowds and emulating their personal styling quirks, too.

Wickstead’s models wore their crew-neck jumpers over wide-collar shirts, tucked into ornate skirts, worn with pop socks and brogues.

Emilia Wickstead RTW Fall 2024 - Runway
Emilia Wickstead was also inspired by the everyday woman - WWD

“Each character carries a story, especially you can see it in these older women,” Wickstead said. “The weight of life, it contributes to their uniqueness and the way they’re accessorising and styling themselves. It’s truly original and personal style.”

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