by SARAH MOWER
“Pagan knights in shining armor. Layers on layers as a defense mechanism. Something knitty and cozy—the epitome of British craft.” Jonathan Anderson was in succinct mode when explaining the makings of his Fall menswear collection. His models—more fresh-faced squires than battle-hardened knights, really—were certainly a touch medieval, what with their elongated tabard-shaped tops and the heraldic symbols and patches depicting stained glass windows sewn to their sweaters and jeans. Still, there was a sense of cool, lanky elegance about them as they strode around in their fluid flares, trailing their super long sleeves and long cable-knit scarves. Well, elegance that can exist in the same sentence as the homespun crochet blanket, that is.
Where do these strands originate?
An instinctive reflex in these apocalyptic times is to picture our days as a descent into the Dark Ages—surely a prime reason for the brutal resonance of Game of Thrones. Part of Anderson’s brain has drifted in that direction recently. He’s reportedly a voracious accumulator of arcane historical research, trawler of antique markets, and bric-a-brac hound. His last womenswear collection had jackets based on Henry VIII’s doublets. Perhaps he bumped into the crochet blankets on a church stall back home in Northern Ireland? Crochet squares aren’t something you’d think you could finesse, though—they are what they are, even if adapted as over-shoe coverings. On the other hand, Anderson and his stylist, Benjamin Bruno, stared at them long enough in the studio for something else to occur to them. “Ben and I thought, actually they look like iPhone apps!”