The Fashion Museum in Bath has announced the Dress of the Year 2016, chosen by Kate Phelan of British Vogue, comprising two ensembles by internationally renowned designer Jonathan Anderson.
One is a womenswear ensemble for the Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe, where Anderson holds the position of Creative Director; the other is a menswear ensemble from the designer’s eponymous label, JW Anderson. Anderson works on both brands in tandem. The selection marks Anderson’s status as a leading designer today.
Jonathan Anderson said: “I have a massive respect for Kate Phelan, whom I have known for many years. It’s very humbling to know that she appreciates the work I put out there for both JW Anderson and Loewe.”
The womenswear look, for Loewe, is a cream mohair tweed asymmetric fringed dress, worn with a gold leaf Napa leather bustier/corset. The ensemble is accessorized with coiled wire and coin bracelets and a tan leather bag.
The menswear look, by JW Anderson, is a cream chunky oversized cardigan, worn with ribbed knit trousers, a white shirt with metallic button detail, bright red Velcro-tabbed, boxing-style trainer boots and a Perspex choker.
Both ensembles are from Autumn/Winter 2016.
Kate Phelan, Senior Contributing Editor at British Vogue and Global Creative Director of Topshop, said: “It has been an honour to be asked by the Fashion Museum Bath to select the Dress of the Year 2016.
“I chose a look from Loewe womenswear and a complimentary look from JW Anderson menswear, both under the creative direction of Jonathan Anderson, because his collections are intelligent and represent a new world of fashion and style, reflecting the future ahead in our ever changing world.
“I have followed Jonathan’s career since his first collections in the London Fashion Week exhibition space at Somerset House and have watched how meticulously he examines his surroundings to design for the present and future.”
Rosemary Harden, Manager of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum, said: “This is another prestigious addition to the celebrated Dress of the Year collection at the Fashion Museum Bath. Anderson is one of this country’s most creative designers and has garnered international acclaim with his cutting-edge aesthetic.
“It’s fantastic that the museum is able to keep pace with and showcase the latest developments in contemporary fashion, through the continued generosity of the very best of the global fashion industry. We welcome Jonathan Anderson to our Fashion Hall of Fame here in Bath”.
The womenswear ensemble selected by Phelan was part of the Loewe Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, shown at the Maison de l’UNESCO in Paris and described by Vogue as ‘graceful and grown-up’.
The JW Anderson menswear ensemble was featured in the Autumn/Winter 2016 show that the designer chose subversively to live-stream on Grindr, the gay social-networking app. Anderson also embraces a radical aesthetic in the deliberately laddered, giant scale knitted cardigan.
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland in 1984. He studied menswear at the London College of Fashion and launched his eponymous menswear line in 2008, adding a womenswear collection in 2010.
His designs and the ethos behind them achieved immediate international critical and commercial success. Always a fan of collaborations, in 2012 Anderson launched a collection in association with Topshop, and a year later he designed a capsule collection for the Versace brand Versus.
Anderson’s work has garnered several prestigious British Fashion Awards including the Emerging Talent Award – Ready-to-Wear (2012), The New Establishment (2013) and Menswear Designer of the Year (2014). In 2015 Anderson became the first ever designer to simultaneously win both Womenswear Designer of the Year and Menswear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.
In 2013 LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennesey), the luxury goods company behind Dior and Louis Vuitton, invested in the JW Anderson brand and, at the same time, hired the designer as creative director at Loewe.
The JW Anderson label is now regarded as one of London’s most innovative and thought-provoking brands, challenging ideals of beauty and gender, art and fashion, and the designer, who describes himself as ‘a bandmaster’, is respected around the globe. This year he curated an exhibition, Disobedient Bodies, at The Hepworth Wakefield, which runs until 18th June 2017.
The selection by Kate Phelan marks the 100th anniversary of British Vogue, which first appeared in Britain in 1916. Phelan is not the first British Vogue editor to have chosen the Dress of the Year for the Fashion Museum. Previous selectors have included Alexandra Shulman (2001, Tom Ford for Yves Saint Laurent), Elizabeth Tilberis (1991, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel) and Beatrix Miller (1970, Bill Gibb).
The Dress of the Year Collection at the Fashion Museum began in 1963, when the museum was founded as the Museum of Costume, Bath.
Since then, a leading commentator and expert on fashion has been invited each year to select an ensemble, or ensembles, from those shown by the world’s designers during international fashion weeks.