There's no one else in fashion doing anything anywhere near as interesting as J.W. Anderson. Following on from last season's lacy offering, the Irish designer confidently pushed forward with his bold rehashing of what menswear could and should be. There were short flippy culottes, flamenco frills that carried over from S/S womenswear, and strapless tops that cut in tightly across the chest - this was girly to the point of fetishistic.
Dubbed 'The Mathematics of Love', the collection was pitched as an exploration of toff kinkiness, hence the bedroom connotations. Aristocratic white gloves with a frill at the cuff straddled the line between clinical and carnal, while button-back tunics and dressing gown outerwear suggested easy undress. Boys became french maids, uniformed school girls and kinky riding boot clad seducers in looks that toyed with many popular, clichéd sexual symbols. Right from the first exit, traditional codes of gender were upturned and the body became a blank canvas on which to project desires and perversions. There was something very British about this brand of sexuality - part stiff upper lip, part tongue-in-cheek Carry On camp.
As with all aspects of sex - not everything is for everybody. But in his ever charming way, Anderson served up something for those on the (picket) fence. A fresh supply of his signature cult knits will please more conservative fans.
Many great men have tried and failed to get guys into skirts - see both Jean Paul Gaultier and David Beckham - but J.W. Anderson may have made the most valiant, convincing attempt yet. This focused collection was so forward thinking in its conceptions of menswear that it made everything else we have seen look old hat.