JW Anderson Takes Us To Their Oversized Arcade

JW Anderson Takes Us To Their Oversized Arcade

JW Anderson Takes Us To Their Oversized Arcade

The womenswear designer embraces the maximalist aesthetic of the arcade for their LFW SS23 collection.

The womenswear designer embraces the maximalist aesthetic of the arcade for their LFW SS23 collection.

Text: Henry Chandonnet

With their flashing neon gaming signs, a litany of arcade machines formed the backdrop of JW Anderson’s SS23 runway show for London Fashion Week. Just as the machines twinkled, inviting gamers and gamblers alike to press their luck, so followed the designer’s collection in capturing an inviting sense of grandeur. The looks are extravagant and over-the-top, often taking the term ‘oversized’ to the extreme, but never fall into a bawdy sense of over-indulgence. No, they remain clean and beautiful, even in their extremities. 

Image courtesy of JW Anderson
Image courtesy of JW Anderson

When one hears the term ‘oversized,’ one may think of baggy pants or flowing gathered blouses. For JW Anderson, this term takes on a whole new meaning. Many of the collection’s looks feature elements of a traditional garment, like the bra cup of a camisole, magnified to encompass an entire look. With puffy sweatshirt dresses in tow, the collection embraces the minutiae of clothing on a grander scale. 

A collection highlight is JW Anderson’s series of turtleneck dresses. No, not standard dresses with long stretching collars around the neck. Instead, the designer flips the turtleneck upside down, using the collar and sleeves as a sort of train. What could be a standard garment is flipped on its head, creating new structures and silhouettes purely for the sense of play. 

Image courtesy of JW Anderson
Image courtesy of JW Anderson

Aside from the inherent maximalism of the arcade, JW Anderson also embraces their source material by reflecting technology within their designs. Several garments are printed with screensaver-like images, inspiring memories of that iconic Dell landscape. Several looks are also adorned with oversized keyboard keys, spelling out JW A. 

One of the collection’s most interesting garments takes heed of this keyboard inspiration, forming an entire fitted top out of keyboard keys. With all the keys blended together, the turtleneck-style sleeveless top seems almost tiled in its design. This is an incredibly creative use of the medium, translating an a base object into structure and style. 

Image courtesy of JW Anderson
Image courtesy of JW Anderson

It’s incredibly refreshing to see a designer having as much fun as JW Anderson. The designer stands apart in their love of the kitschy and the campy. The garments never fail to be chic and classy, with much of the collection maintaining a certain wearability, but there’s so much more there. There’s a pure sense of excitement, like a kid in an arcade.

Image courtesy of JW Anderson
Image courtesy of JW Anderson

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