Fashion and drama kind of go hand in hand at all times, which is why the biography of British designer JW Anderson is achingly poetic. Originally from Northern Ireland, Anderson moved to Washington DC to study drama at the Actor’s Studio but ended up falling for the costume department instead. After working as a stylist for Rufus Wainwright, he moved to London and enrolled in fashion school, establishing his label straight out of college.
Anderson first caught our eye at the Topman/Fashion East MAN showcase earlier this year and—it’s just been announced—will be added to the line-up again for London Fashion Week. The lookbook for fall 2009 that’s now up on his website is stunning and goes a little deeper with the designer’s twin obsessions: a love of mystical characters and sinister phenomena. For this season, the aristocrat explorer of yore is the JW Anderson muse, with lots of opulent looks fit for fantastical adventure. Gentlemanly attire gets tweaked for traveling flights of fancy with trompe l’oeil tuxedo blousons, and oversized knits are covered in a web of intricate copper netting. For all the emphasis on expeditions though, the long, sweeping cardigans and fancy but comfy-looking slip-ons seem just as conducive to pipe-smoking sessions in turn-of-the-century drawing rooms as swash-buckling voyages into the unknown.