ON SET WITH J.W. ANDERSON

Designer J.W. Anderson doesn’t compromise. Our latest collaborator, who’s second and final collection will hit Topshop on Thursday 15th is riding high on the success of four brilliant seasons and the accolades can only be put down to his unwavering aesthetic. Embracing his taste for “beautiful-ugly” pieces, Anderson has stuck steadfast to his penchant for the off-kilter and this same vision can be said for the Topshop shoot we worked with him on for his SS13 collection.

Alongside stylist and collaborator Benjamin Bruno, Anderson envisioned a dark and androgynous shoot for the latest drop. Pairing up two models – a blonde and a brunette – and deciding with photographer Scott Trindle that it would be completely black and white, this was a shoot all about contrast.

“It was a little inspired by the twins of The Shining but also had this dark Harajuku vibe,” said Jonathan as he tweaked the shiny leather trench coats on the models: “there was definitely an element of perversion.” Japan cropped up once again when we caught up with stylist Benjamin, “these are deranged girls from the Japanese countryside. They’re outsiders.”

As soon as we arrived on set, we were taken aback by the models’ waist skimming, poker straight hair that was extended by Streeters’ hair stylist Tomo Jidai and again referenced Harajuku girls. Not the only ones with impressive hair, photographer Scott Trindle brought along his adorable new dog who entertained everyone mid shots and then found home on a suitcase of cameras.

Although it seems that the girls aren’t wearing a lick of make-up, you’d be surprised how much work went into making them look so minimal. Make-up artist Lotten Holmqvist used a heavy helping of special effects make-up to give the models a dramatic look. “[Anderson] didn’t want it to look pretty or beautiful, they wanted to take it a step further,” said Holmqvist, “we wanted to make the skin hyper real, really over the top shine that is actually killed by the black and white photo effect but still gives a glow.”

Hirschy, one of the lovely models who has recently fronted a Balenciaga campaign, chatted away with us about what she loved. “I’m listening to a lot of rock and electro at the moment,” said the Ossie beauty, “Massive Attack, Nirvana and there’s a great new solo artist from Australia called Chet Baker.”  Hirschy flew in from New York just hours before the shoot and was really excited to be in London. “I love the cafes here, AllPress and Broadway and Borough Market,” she said, “there’s also great vintage markets here too.” As for her own style she came wrapped in a coat from yours truly, Topshop. “I tend to wear a lot of black at the moment. A littler too much! But it’s so easy and makes you feel powerful.” Any fashion essentials? “A lot of water and moisturiser.”

J.W. Anderson‘s SS13 Topshop collection lands on Thursday 15th so make sure you check back and in the meantime join in the #JWAxTS fashion frenzy on Twitter.