Jan 10, 2016
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Fantasy becomes reality as fashion's 'Wonder Boy' shows in London

Jan 10, 2016

With cartoon prints, snail-shaped stickers and speckled ermine coats, British designer Jonathan Anderson delivered on his promise to put the "fantasy in fashion" as he presented his latest collection in London on Sunday.

The British capital's fashion elite were up early to cram into the military building that provided the backdrop for the autumn-winter 2016 collection of JW Anderson, the eponymous label set up by the 31-year-old in 2008.

J.W. Anderson SS16 - AFP / Ben Stansall

The Northern Irishman is widely regarded as one of Britain's brightest fashion stars having made his name as the artistic director of Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe and scoring a double success at last year's British Fashion Awards for both his male and female collections.

"Wonder Boy", as he has been nicknamed by the British press, lived up to his billing as he showcased his innovative and uninhibited collection on Sunday.

Showing off his knack for luxury, Anderson dazzled the gathered fashionistas, buyers and journalists with a series of black ermine mantles, flecked with red and blue.

They were followed by woollen trousers, asymmetrical jackets decorated with cartoon prints, coats with cloud-shaped pockets and metal necklaces.

"Today it was about telling an urban tale," in a tech-driven world of ever-decreasing distances, he told the press.

"It's like how we live our lives, we go from one thing to another, its about travelling, its about a journey, its about speed," he added.

"It's like falling into a club, falling into a Japanese garden and then falling into a bank".

- Grindr link-up -

On the evidence of Sunday's show, Anderson's disciples will soon be strutting around in wide, aubergine-coloured suits made of silk, brightened up by irreverent snail-shaped stickers.

In winter, they will wrap up in loose-knit woollen sweaters that fall to the knees.

The show was broadcast live on gay dating app Grindr, demonstrating the designer's innovative relationship with modern communication channels.

"For me it was like how could we reach like a 196 countries in one moment," he said.

"We are in this moment where medias have changed, so we need to explore, it's quite amazing to be able to access seven million people at once."

The male version of London Fashion Week has established a reputation for harnessing radical designers, and British duo Sibling set the tone on Saturday with a bold collection inspired by boxing and 1980s pop culture.

The catwalk became a ringwalk as male models paraded in thick woollen hoodies decorated with medals, inspired by boxers' robes.

The designers encouraged men to challenge gender assumptions, showcasing a range of skirts also embellished with medals.

"We like legs," said Sibling designer Cozette McCreery. "As a girl, I'd be very happy if lots of guys showed more leg".

Shows for the autumn-winter 2016 season began on Friday and will continue until Monday.

Men's Fashion Week will then up sticks and head for Milan and Paris before ending in New York.

Sales in men's fashion leapt by 22 percent in Britain to £13.5 billion pounds ($19.6 billion, 18 billion euros) between 2009 to 2014, according to market researcher Mintel.

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