Fashion

JW Anderson’s New Capsule with Gilbert & George is an Art Kid's Dream

The London-based artists have photos splashed across an entire collection, further muddling the line between fashion and fine art.
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“Everything’s all mixed together now,” Jonathan Anderson says. “Art and fashion? It’s hard to tell the difference. You could say fashion is about the body, and art is about an emotional interpretation of the body.” Anderson, for the latest capsule of his eponymous label, JW Anderson, has decided to put said emotional interpretations of the body onto our bodies. In collaboration with British dream duo Gilbert & George, the latest collection includes a sizeable amount of printed gear—button-down tops, tee shirts, bags—featuring the duo’s iconic artwork.

“We were doing fittings, and the idea came into my head. I was trying to work out what we wanted to do for this show, and there was something so striking about the three images that we pulled that really made sense with the collection,” Anderson said. The images, featuring Guard Plants (1980), Dog Boy (1980) and Heavy (1988), are true to the hyperformal duo’s photo-based, printed trademark style. The artworks all include colored floral prints—think the U.K.’s 1980’s club-kid answer to Andy Warhol’s Flowers—as well as pensive human subjects.

The essence of the clothes have as much of an utilitarian vibe as the printed artworks themselves: accessories feature the artwork rendered on cotton canvas; horizontal striped tees don the bulk of the G&G 80’s works. Take, for example, Anderson’s waistbelted reinterpretation of le pull marin: a reconstruction of a french classic. “I wanted something to harmonize with it, that didn’t feel like we were trying to abuse the artwork,” Anderson said. “There is something incredibly emotional about those three pieces.”

As for the collaboration writ large, the prospect was truly an exciting project for Anderson, who can’t even remember the first piece he ever saw from the artists. “I truly can’t say. They are an institution; I feel like they’ve always been there.”

The capsule collection is available now on matchesfashion.com. See the campaign, shot by Alasdair McLellan, below.

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