Fancy Tracksuits Might Just Be The New Party Dress

It’s been an excellent few months for Jonathan Anderson. In November, he won both the Menswear and Womenswear Designer of the Year title at the British Fashion Awards — arguably the most prestigious event on the U.K. style calendar. And in January, he opened his first brick-and-mortar store-cum-"workshop" in the heart of East London. As one of the country's most cherished and creative design talents, his fall/winter 2016 J.W.Anderson presentation on Saturday gave showgoers another dose of the innovative cuts, dramatic and voluminous silhouettes, and overly textured (in the best way possible) accessories he does best.

And this season did not disappoint. In fact, it wowed. Anderson played with texture, color, and shape, naturally, using metalwork and quilting with a huge focus (literally) on oversized silhouettes. To counter a sea of homogeny, the collection celebrated idiosyncrasies and individuality, perfectly conveyed in the David Hicks quote that was at the center of the collection: "The excitement of today is the freedom of the individual to make his own choice."

With that said, there were endless possibilities for different characters, from the swirling, undulating skirts to the cloud-like quilted tops and hooded furs that were very Jennifer Lopez circa 2002. A not-so-subtle floral motif ran throughout — with flowers embroidered onto leather sweatshirts and studded leaves on silk dresses. The accessories, too, were a standout. Anderson showed a new version of the Pierce bag alongside a selection of grandma shoes (yes!) with a cylindrical heel and mules that were so heavily embellished with iridescent scales they resembled a mermaid’s fin.

Though there was a lot to take in at a J.W. Anderson show, it was the selection of party-ready tracksuits (it sounds like an oxymoron, we know) that caught our attention — and not because the idea seems so weird, but because it actually worked. A nylon-looking, high-necked zip-up (with an attached outer pocket) was paired with a black skirt and pointy kitten heels; scrunched jogging pants were matched with a pierced, white-collared top; a quilted running jacket was cut back and worn as a cape.

As the designer described it to WWD, it was "the idea of modern cocktail wear — it's an exercise in fashion." And we appreciate that literal blend of exercise with style.

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