Championed by the likes of Alexa Chung, Rita Ora and Pixie Geldof, who were often spotted sauntering around their local haunts wearing the coveted bat sweater, JW Anderson returns this season with his much-anticipated new collaboration for Topshop SS13.
The chunky knitted sweater also makes a return, this time reworked into a car, goose, and cartoon-heart motif (Interview Fashion Director Miguel Enamorado's favorite piece). Pale lilac neoprene used on Harrington jackets and skirts are a refreshing highlight. Other signature styles have evolved from the previous season, as we see the kilt reappear in heavy indigo denim—Assistant Market Editor Stephanie Strauss' pick—as well as the classic trench updated in a more modern patent leather. Interview's Senior Fashion Editor Jessica Mycock is particularly fond of the three-inch platform loafers, which are available in contrasting black and white.
"This collection was more about youth cultural groups," says Anderson. "The girl has evolved. It's about carrying over the idea of iconic pieces that can be worn over and over and re-working staple looks from the JW Anderson wardrobe."
While the collection is set to be a hit with downtown It Girls, it's interesting to note that British designer Jonathan William Anderson had originally launched his eponymous label in 2008 as a menswear line, only branching out into womenswear in FW2011. "I think our FW11 collection came at a very good moment in fashion, and it made people aware of the brand," Anderson acknowledges.
Now stocked in Moda Operandi, Selfridges, and Opening Ceremony, amongst others, JW Anderson is a label that's just starting to hit its stride. With his collaboration with TopShop in particular, Anderson is the first to admit that having a few famous fans wearing that bat sweater doesn't hurt. "Alexa was a great supporter of it [the Topshop collection], and the bat sweater became quite an iconic piece from it. It's very kind of her, because it takes our brand to all age demographics. I have never wanted my brand to be elitist."