JW Anderson, the eponymous fashion house led by designer Jonathan Anderson, presented its Spring Summer 2023 collection on Saturday 17 September at the Las Vegas Arcade in London’s Soho.
The collection was a comment on the human relationship with technology and consumerism and comprised a number of pieces that used material and silhouettes in a surrealist way.
The brand’s show notes described the concept as: “A parallel world of people trapped in their computers, blending with keyboards and screensavers, exploring other dimensions. Nature filtered by the digital ego, becoming a personal collateral. The arcade, after all, is not just for gamers.”
Giant computer keys adorned and interrupted block-coloured and purposely-wrinkled dresses, which were paraded between arcade machines.
One piece featured hundreds of computer keys from the now obsolete off-white desktop computers of the early noughties, which were lined in horizontal rows to form a halterneck top.
Throughout the show proportions were oversized. A dress shaped like a plastic bag was tied at the shoulder and printed with an image of a child peering through a water-filled bag holding a goldfish.
“Proportions that go mega, technology that becomes degraded shimmers and shines,” JW Anderson said of the pieces.
“Objects trapped within items of clothing and those screensavers that land over the body, on bags and accessories: that’s what happens in the gaming arcade,” the brand continued.
“The message is one of realism – for whatever real can mean today – delivered with a reductionist language that charges each piece with the status of a blunt statement.”
While some pieces symbolised people absorbed by technology, others referenced real-life leisure activities.
A string hammock was worn as a dress, while stock images of palm tree-lined beaches – similar to those often used for screensavers – decorated body suits and accessories.
“Leisure is important, so a hammock becomes a dress while jumpers and tees hang from laundry hangers,” said the fashion brand.
Much like JW Anderson’s Spring Summer 2023 menswear collection where the designer suspended bicycle handles from bodies, clothes hangers were reinterpreted as necklines for sweaters that were hung upside down.