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Old hair, new fashion: JW Anderson offers a twist on the nosy neighbor

Next season’s style brief is to channel your gray-haired nosy neighbor, according to designer Jonathan Anderson.

Moments after unveiling his latest collection for his label JW Anderson on Sunday, during London Fashion Week, Anderson told a huddle of journalists that he was interested in the rise of nostalgia as he thought about women “doing the washing in their neighbor’s garden.”

A model walks the runway at the JW Anderson show during London Fashion Week. - Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images
A model walks the runway at the JW Anderson show during London Fashion Week. - Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

But the Northern Irish designer’s interpretation of this quintessentially British scene was devoid of the frump you might expect from a 1950s housewife. Salt and pepper permed wigs were paired with a striking red lip.

“We wanted to do something a bit psychological this time,” he said. “The idea of the grotesque and the pragmatic.”

Oversized coats, layered knitted undergarments, and ugly boots harked back to a woman dutifully hanging clothes on the line, baby in one arm, cigarette in the other.

Hair stylist Anthony Turner worked with the brand on the wigs worn by some of the models in the show. - Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images
Hair stylist Anthony Turner worked with the brand on the wigs worn by some of the models in the show. - Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

“Young people are discovering nostalgia,” he said. “Suddenly a song from 50 years ago can become number one.”

It’s hard to imagine 90s-obsessed Gen Z-ers recreating the banality of pre-internet life in Britain on TikTok but it’s clear we are living in a time when all that is old is new again.

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