Tongue in Hand | Office Magazine

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For Issue 19, we kept it fun as usual and of course, a little cheeky in this fashion editorial. Get your copy here. Ink And Paint Apron

Tongue in Hand | Office Magazine

There was something eerie and charming about the opening look of JW Anderson’s Fall collection: a slinky knit featuring a plunging neckline, emblazoned with a red flower over the chest. It had a masculine-yet-feminine sensibility that keeps building at the brand, but this season it signified a move forward: A cultural reference added to the designer’s rich repertoire, which reconfigured his signature obsessions into a new light. “Watching Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut in summer was quite compelling, because I deeply felt the conceptual idea of looking up to a film, which I’ve never done before as a kind of starting point,” said Anderson in a post-show interview, backstage. “And then through the summer I became extremely obsessed by Christiane Kubrick’s work, the relationship with her husband and how she painted; I admit that most of the paintings in the film really impressed me for the interiors, which led me to get in contact with her at the time she was in Hertfordshire, where I asked her if she would like to collaborate.”

Anderson thinks there’s something quite psychological with the kind of contrasts of the two — the film itself and the imagery in the wall — which hold a very personal reference as it deals with pregnancy, breastfeeding and birth. “I thought there was something intriguing in the way Kubrick brought theatrics to the foreground, delving into the male and the female form and how the rules that can be portrayed through hemling or through the geniuses of tights, looking at how they become an amazing second skin in the purest form and, in turn, they can become a kink, but also functional,” he said, explaining his penchant for building a men’s sock into a hero piece, creating a new line. No wonder, then, that the collection mirrored an aesthetic that morphed alluringly into a profound aftermath. “It’s an odd type of homage to a film that profoundly affected me when I was younger;” explains Anderson, expanding that “If I’m doing a collection, I like to challenge myself in different ways and think how to approach them in a wealth of manners.” The idea of volume or power dressing in the womenswear arena — like the asymmetrically cut velvet onesie and the color red — is an imperative element in the film, acting like a point setter to Anderson’s vision for Fall, who doesn't abandon his chic-grit kick. “Red?” he grins momentarily, “[It feels] like one of those flowers that I find incredibly disgusting, but then there’s something that holds some sort of toxicity to it, like the idea that it can transform into a look stripped to its rawest form: which could be a sweater with the zip, a flower or tights. My intention here was to engineer movement and, through the lineup, subtle promiscuity which ultimately boiled down to a form of classicism as inspiration of gesture. For me, this collection had to be about gestures and the subversive act it makes.” 

In the Anderson theater of fashion communications, suspension of disbelief is essential. “The shoes had different sizes of tassels, nearly like a perfume bottle on the women’s numbers, while it was more blown up on the men’s offerings, epitomizing an overt sign of masculinity on a brogue and in a weird way it makes it much more camp,” he said. The saving grace of this busy, multi-referential eclecticism is that Anderson has it all so under control. These days, he will tinge his sensibility with a wacky glamor that allows a lovely sense of nakedness beneath. Best in show? Puffy cardigans and bloomers with satin linings peep out like cushions or curtains which, as seen from a wide angle, flow with blazers that are blown up and out of scale. There was no shortage of stellar effects: the evidence included shirts that were distorted with humongous sleeves, while trousers and jumpers were over-scaled. The body was trapped in oddly placed sleeves, and textures became juxtaposed. After years of helming the brand, Anderson has perfected his dive into the outlandish.

Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons said they wanted “to introduce the idea of renewal and change — like nature, natural rhythms which inspired the Fall 2024 clothes.” Though suffused with the house’s signature poetics, this season felt urban, partly nonchalant, fragile and light — with a transitional yet harder edge to match. “Things are very changed in their weight and form language, adapted for different spaces, alternate environments,” says Raf Simons, explaining that “there is this idea of echoing surrounding, being influenced by environments in the garments themselves — office and nature, inside and out, the instinctive change of people shifting between these opposite spheres.” The intriguing dichotomy presented this Fall was the juxtaposition of an office interior teamed with a natural landscape, emphasizing the intention to showcase how man-meets-nature settings can coexist between one another. Prada and Simons are actually intuiting the fact that fashion needs to address a transitional, more classic level of dressing, but at the same time, pressure is on them to stay within the classic parameters of the not-so-defined genre of chic traditionalism.

Beyond the brilliant accessories and outerwear staples rendered in wacky (and savvy) color-blocking moments, reality-check wardrobe essentials like maxi bags, neutral cardis, sharp collars, slim but not tight trousers, and the perfect pair of sunnies rounded the collection, renewing the arsenal of classics with new a push on volumes. “The Rite of Spring has inspired generations of musicians to reinvent themselves,” explained Miuccia Prada in the notes, expanding on the fact that “seasons have been the most consistent theme in all schools of painting. fashion aspires to the same effect of renewal.” Representing the things you were not aware you needed but you suddenly would be thrilled to have were a chalk-gray coat teamed with a plush mustard round neck, or a double-breasted suit with patent loafers. The proportions looked just right, with an approach that made sense stylistically, although it lacked sizzle. Thank goodness for those sharply-cut overcoats.

Dsquared2’s Dean and Dan Caten continue to frame their seasonal offerings as a reinvention of the house’s classics, making the most of their penchant for panache. “This season, the references symbolized two sides of the coin, and it’s all about transformation from day-to-night,” they said in a backstage interview before the show. “The casting comprises twins, and we chose to have a day version and a night version,” they explained, adding that, “the show features a magic box: a transformation machine recalling the science laboratory which has the twin walking in as specimen A and out as specimen B. Transitioning from the daily look to the evening ensemble, they get polished, chic-ified, glamified and brushed.” With this latest throughline, they considered all manner of shapes, wearer and occasions — youthful shirt dresses, Jersey shorts with holes, white cotton tanks, trapper hats — even if they didn’t label them as such. “It was very fun, and it’s just our interpretation of transformation!” they added. Fall 2024 landed on such an array of layered staples that weighed in on personality in addition to their creative outlook.

As someone who loves themed collections, Dsquared2 seemed to realize they can fully let go. And even though this season’s variation had a clear outline from the outset, their Fall rendition felt more conducive to the spectrum of their practice (and clients): the staples delivered good execution and high drama, through structured silhouettes along stylized separates. This expression of attitude came in the form of vintage look shearlings and patched and worn denim, dominating the men’s day looks. By night, twins get a glow up, ranging from transparent chiffon shirts with studs details that open to the waist, low slung pants with a flared ankle in sparkling velvet or glossy printed python leather, a silver sequin bomber and pants and slinky lurex knits worn with clutches featuring back to back D2 gold hardware. Worn suede duffels and Gothic Belt Bags in jacquard knits are juxtaposed with D2 clutches for both men and women in satin and python printed leather. Elsewhere, sneakers, army and Sasquatch boots make way for slightly heeled men’s boots, and high heeled delicate ankle strap pumps for women—both styles elongating the leg and providing a sense of chic-grit. 

Dsquared2 is an all-time keen observer of nightlife. With a new, coming-of-age generation of youthful dressers, the brand’s wardrobes must come with a twist, so they keep their propositions as flexible as possible. It will be interesting to see how their young client base bends this lineup to reality. It’s also very possible that Dean and Dan — both witty and commercially-savvy — will eventually have to pick between two worlds. No stress for now.

Tongue in Hand | Office Magazine

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