Paris- When Jonathan Anderson was appointed chairman of the fashion jury at the 35th Hyeres International Fashion Photography Festival, no one could have predicted that he would be active in remote areas due to a pandemic.
Anderson is not a stranger in the talent contest. Designers who founded the JW Anderson brand in 2008 and joined Loewe in 2013 founded Loewe Craft Prize in 2016 and are a judge for LVMH Prize for Young Designers, who spotlight talents such as marine sale and grace. Is one of them. Welsh Bonner.
So he stepped into the role of 10 Yale finalist mentors in an online masterclass on Friday very naturally. Anderson revealed that the cataclysms caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus made it possible to reconnect with how he felt as an emerging designer.
“There is immediacy,” he told Loic Prigent in a conversation. “When we step into the last decade, newness and immediacy are key.”
He works for LVMH Moet Hennessy Iviton, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, but Anderson predicted that his star designer era was over.
“The ivory tower cliché mentioned in all fashion books is over. It’s okay to do that,” he said, prospering by capturing the moments of excess and hysteria with a camera. I pulled a protest from Gent.
In an interview with WWD, Anderson talks about how the crisis has rekindled creativity and paved the way for new ideas, and how British performers Gilbert & George are privileged and the importance of living in the present. I explained in detail what made me think.
WWD: Fashion editors and buyers were overwhelmingly positive about your “Show on the Wall” concept. You’ve found a creative way to make up for the lack of a runway show in a box containing images and objects that tell the story of Loewe’s Spring collection. How would you host that idea to Yale’s fashion judges and apply it to do it remotely?
Jonathan Anderson: It is a great honor to be able to do this this year. I’m lonely not there, but strangely, I’m glad you did it this way. I feel like it will fill that moment.
I’m pretty used to actually doing remote things. We should all have practiced enough for it. As it is said, I think it is a year in which we all should take responsibility for overcoming this year and aiming for a foreseeable future. We’re getting used to the new type of normal, so I think we’re very lucky to have the technology at this time. And to be honest, this technology existed before the pandemic. We didn’t take advantage of it. For me, the president of the festival, I wanted to reach a larger audience, not just the domestic audience.
WWD: Yale is a pretty insider festival, so isn’t it? It’s all about being there and hanging out to catch up with the people in the industry. So this is actually an interesting view and is expanding it to a larger audience.
JA: We have partnered with YouTube, where we were able to work internally with LVMH on the digital side. And I think it will only open a conversation in the end.
WWD: How can you actually judge a collection without looking directly at it?
JA: I was already looking at my physical clothes as I edited with a few other judges earlier this year. In addition, each of the participants produced a great print. This is in my office.
WWD: Does it look mainly like a book? Or do you include other sensory triggers?
JA: They contain so many different things. You know, I have a perfume here. There are textiles, ceramics, gadgets and Toile de Jouy lithographs. So I think it’s amazing that creativity wins in any situation.
WWD: And what are you looking for in these young designers? It’s a very difficult time for them to come. All buyers are very cautious and are unlikely to invest in young brands. What do they need to do to be relevant to this period?
JA: What we see in this industry is very big brands, very small brands [the ones] Someone who really survives.
When I started JW Anderson, I started it during the housing crisis. It seems a long time ago, but we are now facing another crisis. And sometimes I think it’s a really good moment to fall into a crisis. Because it’s not just about selling at this point. It’s about ideas. I think this is what I find really exciting right now. We are looking for pure ideas from young people. One of the things I learned is that we are very focused on the business part. What really happened was the end of the last decade with meaningless clothes.
WWD: What does that mean?
JA: In other words, it’s a generic product that only makes money. It’s a bit strange to hear about journalism and buyers. They complain about lack of creativity, but at the same time don’t think it’s commercial enough. This is a very strange dichotomy. There is a way to find the bridge in the middle, but at the same time, young designers should be completely free from the idea. If not, you will have a lot of shift dresses. ..
WWD: So did you encourage finalists to use their ideas freely?
JA: I think each of us is incredibly unique in the choices we have put together. Some of them have really great things in sustainability, it’s really a kind of concrete view. You have people who are really crazy about crafts, you have people who are experimenting with new things. I think we should all take the leaves from it. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be perfect, it doesn’t have to be glossy, it doesn’t have to be all these different things. It sometimes just needs to be honest.
WWD: How did you choose the judges? And how have you cooperated from afar during the festival preparation period?
JA: The great thing is that everyone has all the material sent to me. There are judges from all over the world. Obviously, it would have been ideal if we were all there. But I’m really glad that I could have a conversation outside and have a conversation together. I wanted to put together everything from stylists to music to celebrities to digital. The way we judge things must come from a consensus between the parties.
WWD: Please tell us about the exhibition you designed for the exhibition at Villa Noailles in Hyeres. I saw totem-like sculptures scattered around the clothes.
JA: These are based on this idea of Isamu Noguchi, how he used the deployment structure, and how such things refer to the 70’s in a strange way. Is a crochet totem that I started making in Loewe.
It’s the first time for both brands to be exhibited together in one space, so it’s great to reinterpret the past now.
WWD: Please tell us a little about the master class. Did you do a lot of that during the blockade? Or was it your first time?
JA: Well, this is the first time I’ve done a master class for really young talent. Much of what I’ve done during the blockade was, in a strange way, more of some criticism at the moment, or a perspective on where we are.
It was really nice to be able to think about the future, talent, and where we can go. Interestingly, on the day I recorded it, I interviewed Gilbert & George for the project. I have worked with them before and haven’t seen them since the blockade. And it was really interesting. They survived World War II and survived the AIDS epidemic, three, four, and five financial crises. And I was asking them, what were they thinking about what was coming? I sometimes wonder if people older than us have a more rational view. And what’s interesting is what they actually said. They believe that one of the most dangerous things in today’s society is privilege. And I actually thought it was a very honest answer to the situation. We are honored to be able to speak on a computer, read all books online, travel around the world, and have electricity. But if you’re not careful, you’ll just get it anyway, and forget what it really means. Oddly enough, it really resonated with me when I was interviewed by Loic for a masterclass.
At this moment, things are complicated and you can’t do the same thing, and you have to think about things differently, but you can’t take over privileges. We must be at the stage of adaptation. They were talking about World War II. It wasn’t rebellion, it was help. And sometimes we find it very confusing with the idea of rebellion and aid. Rebellion is not always the solution.
WWD: That’s an interesting message I’m hearing right now. France is in the curfew stage, so it’s really hard to control the feeling of being robbed of something.
JA: We are in the process of losing this generation sooner, without our own responsibility.
It is summarized in its famous quote by Virginia Woolf. In other words, we see life only at the time of death. There’s something in it, and when you talk to someone like Gilbert & George, you’ll start to understand how lucky we are. And while we may have to put on these amazing forms of imprisonment, at the same time, let’s live in the present without being bound by that privilege. I think we’re crazy about the future, but maybe we should take it root in the present.