24 September 2015


Tough And Tender 3

Henri Matisse, Woman in Blue, 1937
A romantic version of the tough/tender trend can be seen in the courageous and confident collection by J W Anderson – how new and fresh to bring Edwardian dress to the present! Prim leg-o-mutton sleeves were exaggerated to such extremes that they ceased to look feminine, becoming instead aggressive. The constrain of structured little black bras and corset type belts, worn on the outside, with a bold squiggle of a Vivien Westwood print is again unseductive and aggressive. Ruffled Edwardian tea dresses, a couple clearly recalling Woman In Blue in the paper doll outlines, are truncated, worn with bloomers showing, look rakish if anything. Lace, little ruffled collars, bowed sleeves and legs, the pretty style touches that make up a Matisse woman, is always undercut with something quite angry, like an insistent zipper, or unfriendly proportions, with a cross hatch of two messenger bags. Anderson's vision is thought-provoking and idiosyncratic - and for me, always memorable.
Vivien Westwood dress with Matisee print, 1982

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