In his Resort 2023 and Mens SS23 collections, Johnathan Anderson, making his Milan debut, challenges our perceptions of objectivity. The British designer uses Rembrandt’s portraits as the “original selfie,” reminding us of the transient nature of modernity.
Anderson has always experimented with the dismantling of unexpected materials in order to create whimsical ensembles. Anderson wanted to shock the audience and make us think about how we perceive everyday objects, drawing inspiration from his acting days in The Pitchfork Disney.
With models wearing BMX handlebars, broken skateboards, CDs door hinges, and other non-wearable objects, we wondered: what happens when clothing meets non-wearable objects? As a result of the collision, fashion fragments emerge, and the objectivity of these items becomes subjective.
The audience is first greeted by the sound of morning birds before transitioning to modern renditions of classical music in an open warehouse. T-shirts and jumpsuits are torn, with barcodes visible; work gloves are worn over tops, and CDs are stuck to sweatshirts, all implying that objectivity is subjective to the defiant narrative.
Shapes are essential to the point of banality when clothing meets objects: the t-shirt, sweatshirt, Bermudas, dress, jean jacket, five pocket trousers, bomber, tailored double-breasted blazer, tank top, parka. All of this is complemented by brightly colored bags and thick-soled shoes.
Anderson reframes Rembrandt’s nearly 400-year-old self-portraits as selfies by using reproductions of Rembrandt’s work throughout the collection. Rembrandt portrayed himself in his etchings for the same reason we take selfies today.
The ways in which we use technology have remained more consistent than we think as technology has advanced. Anderson describes this as “a collection that asks to be looked at in perspective: from the peak of the selfie stick.”
JW Anderson‘s Spring/Summer 2023 collection saw him return to form at his own residence. We have grown accustomed to his inventiveness at LOEWE, and now his own label has caught up.
Bumper bags, a new line of activewear sneakers, oversized bejeweled slides, rubber boots, and a new selection of mules with oversized clips completed the look.