Jonathan Anderson has been viewing the world in Technicolor lately. His namesake label, JW Anderson, which he founded as a London-based menswear line in 2008 and is now worn religiously by the likes of Harry Styles and Emma Corrin, is popping with hues from an artist’s mixing tray. His work for Loewe, the Spanish luxury house that Anderson has transformed with his signature eccentricities, sizzles with Balearic neon. Prints are straight out of an incredibly chic acid trip. Think psychedelic strawberries on zip-up fleeces and bunches of parakeets printed on leather accessories.
The same is true for JW Anderson’s third collection with Moncler Genius, which launches today with the fitting title of Dream in Color. ‘It’s about very brightly coloured clothing,’ the designer says, matter-of-factly. ‘I wanted something that felt optimistic. I like the idea of something that’s very youthful and toy-like. There’s a good feeling that comes from that; no matter what age you are, there’s something nice about the feeling of youthfulness and of novelty.’
Moncler Genius was conceived by the Italian skiwear brand’s CEO, Remo Ruffini, in 2018. It invites a roster of creative designers to merge the codes of its signature outerwear with their own unique visions. Other names involved with the project include Anderson’s London contemporaries Simone Rocha and Craig Green. JW Anderson’s latest iteration is a collection designed to be worn across genders, with parkas and coats in ballooning proportions, oversized knitwear, padded miniskirts and Bermuda shorts. ‘Moncler is an amazing lab where you have full creative expression,’ says Anderson. ‘I feel like for me, it is very exciting because I get to work with the idea of down-filled jackets and outerwear, which is something I don’t do very often.’
Crocheted hats — garden gnome-esque in the best possible way — are a nod to Anderson’s well-known love of arts and crafts. As are the spray-painted splodges and blotches that are stamped onto garments and rendered in jacquard in a palette of yellow, green, baby pink, electric blue, brown and coral. ‘I was looking at these very Eighties patterns, something you would see in street art,’ he says. ‘I think there’s something in creating a pattern from [a tool] that is quite primitive, like the spray can.’
Fittingly for a collection focused on optimism, the heart and soul of the Moncler Genius project is the potential unleashed in working together. It’s a power that Anderson wields across all he does — he counts photographers Juergen Teller and Steven Meisel, artists Lynda Benglis and Anthea Hamilton, actors Sir Anthony Hopkins and Josh O’Connor, and even Studio Ghibli and Oscar Wilde among his many collaborators and muses. ‘I very much enjoy collaborations because you’re forced to use a different part of your creative mind,’ he says ‘It’s about two people meeting in the middle.’
The collection will be available from 9 June in select Moncler boutiques, at moncler.com, in the JW Anderson Soho boutique and at jwanderson.com