Dive into the features you want to see

Abortion alcohol alcohol free america Art artist spotlight awards beer Belfast best best looking Best New Music booze Brexit British Cannabis cbd Cheese chocolate Christmas climate change closure Coffee collaboration College Green Comedy cooking counter culture counterculture Cover Story Covid Culture DC Films Derelict Ireland Direct Provision Drink drug Drugs Dublin Dublin City Council Dublin International Film Festival easter Entertainment Environment equality Fashion feature feminism Festival Film First Listen Food gaeilge Gaming General News gift gifts Gigs Graphic Design guinness harm reduction Harry Styles healthcare Heaters Heatwave heist Hennessy Homelessness Housing HSE ice cream Identity instagram Interview introduction to ireland Irish Irish coffee Irish News irishmade justice Justice League Kanye West launch Leonardo DiCaprio LGBTQ+ List Lists Literature Living Hell Lockdown Index Made by District Made in Ireland magdalene laundries meme Mental Health menu merch metoo Michelin mural Music narolane new menu New Music News nightclub nom non-binary nphet One of everything Openers opening openings Opinion Pairing pancakes Photography Pints Podcasts Politics pop up pop ups potatoes Premiere presents Pride queer Ray Fisher reservations Restaurants restrictions rugby Science Shebeen Shite Talk shitetalk signature dish Skateboarding small batch Social Media Space Subset sustainability tacos Taxis Technology Television The Big Grill theatre Thumbstopper tiktok To Be Irish Top 10 Tracks Top Ten Tracks Traffic Trans rights Transport Travellers trends TV Ukraine Ultimate Food Guide vegan Visual Art vodka Weed where to eat whiskey wine Women's rights Workman's youtube

J.W. Anderson: Northern Irish Designer is Leading Fashion Innovation.

Words: Ciarán Howley
Images: Loewe

From Grindr live streams, vehicular-shaped smocks and now plant-infused garments, Jonathan Anderson knows how to make waves.

At his eponymous label and as creative director at Loewe, the Northern Irish designer remains at the vanguard with his surrealist humour and love for the natural elements. Nature or technology, asks Jonathan Anderson for Loewe Spring/ Summer 2023 menswear collection. The truth is somewhere in between.

Paris

At this year’s Paris Fashion Week, the Northern Irish designer presented his latest collection for the Spanish luxury house, Loewe. Appointed Creative Director in 2013, Anderson curates simultaneously for Loewe and his label, J.W. Anderson.

Take one look at the filmed presentation, and it begins to feel like a familiar rendition. From the scant all-white set, searing lighting and minimalist techno soundtrack, it all starts to feel a little ‘Balenciaga-ified.’

But not quite. Look down, and there is that flash of audacious creativity we expect. Grass shoes, followed by garments featuring representations of nature and landscape, mediated artificially in one sense or another. Mossy overcoats, shrub-lacquered denim and Mad Max-esque headguards, take us to a virtual realm where nature lives vicariously through technology. Fabric with the ability to nurture plant life was cultivated specifically for the collection, in a bioengineering twist no one expected. 

The Planet

As the planet burns, humanity seemingly grows more preoccupied than ever with finding ways to artificially replicate it. One standout design featured a tunic with twenty tablet screens relaying footage of birds and fish; docile and impractical. Known for his idiosyncratic style, Anderson has a flare for cultural commentary. He told WWD:  

“In a weird way, we are becoming the screen somehow,” he mused, commenting on society’s inattentiveness to nature. “It’s this idea of how nature can lead technology, or technology can lead nature.” 

Born and Raised

Born and raised in Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, Anderson initially pursued acting and attended the Juilliard School in New York. Through his relocation to Ireland and employment at the department store Brown Thomas in Dublin, he began to pursue design. Cut to 2008, with a degree from London College of Fashion, Anderson would launch his self-titled label which grew popular for its nautical-inspired accessories.

In an interview with the Guardian, Anderson discussed how his upbringing in the North framed his view of fashion and life. “Car bombs, a town getting blown up. It was awful and confusing as a child to live through that, but it toughened me up. I don’t take anything for granted because I know that life is like a fuse.”

Reputation

In the years that have followed, the designer has built a reputation as the fashion world’s newest wunderkind, spearheading two formidable labels. From streaming his Autumn Winter 2016 show on Grindr and tasteful Loewe collabs with Studio Ghibli, Johnathan Anderson is the mad genius fashion design needs right now. With cynicism rife, Anderson can strike that line between pop and high brow with deftness, integrity and a smile.  

Elsewhere on District: Brunch Has Always Been Queer