A Dreamscape of Sleep and Surrealism at JW Anderson SS25 by Leticia Dare

Dear Shaded Viewers,


Picture this: JW Anderson sends out invites for his Milan Fashion Week show not with a typical card or email, but with cheeky “Real Sleep” tees. It’s a move that screams both exhaustion and triumph for Jonathan Anderson, who’s had a blockbuster year from designing costumes for “Challengers” to slaying at the Met Gala. As he prepared to present JW Anderson’s Spring/Summer 2025 menswear and women’s Resort 2025 collections, I couldn’t help but anticipate another wild, whimsical ride and indeed I was correct.

Anderson’s latest brainchild is a deep dive into the dreamy world of sleep and grandiose fantasies. The collection features massive waffle coats that could double as grandma’s cozy knit blankets, silky textures reminiscent of luxurious pillows, and playful, plush details that evoke the comfiest of bedtime stories. Guests were also greeted by shiny J-anchor motifs, dramatically raised hems, cartoonish matte super puffers, and bunched-up boots. And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance: those much-anticipated “penny loafer bags” that had fans buzzing with excitement.

Stepping into the show was like entering a surreal bedtime sanctuary, complete with twinkling lights and plush fabrics that set the perfect scene for Anderson’s sleep-inspired creations. Quilted coats, duvet cover jackets in soft creams and pinks, and oversized bombers all made their appearance, each piece more delightfully cozy than the last.

But, as with any JW Anderson show, there was a playful twist to classic silhouettes. Denim dresses, belted jorts, and textured jackets took on new life with glossy sheens and ruffled adornments. Anderson’s love for texture was evident in every stitch, with puffed-up hoodies and intricate knit details making a bold statement.

True to his roots, Anderson also paid homage to his Irish heritage with a collaboration featuring Guinness. The result? A range of co-branded knitwear that blended traditional craftsmanship with Anderson’s avant-garde flair.

This double-edition show was a veritable smorgasbord of ideas, each one more eye-catching and eccentric than the last. Anderson described the collection as “irrational clothing,” a fitting term for garments that seemed to straddle the line between reality and fantasy. Lushly colored silk liner jackets and hula-hoop hemmed denim gilets were blown up to steroidal proportions, transforming familiar pieces into something wonderfully bizarre.

Among the standout pieces were three inside-out knit mega-bomber jackets, each with a tactile, spongy quality. Sweaters with attached pillows at the hips brought a whimsical, ergonomic twist, while pastel leather blouses added a touch of surrealism to the mix.

Anderson’s disruptive approach to fashion also extended to architecture-inspired cardigans and sweater dresses. These wearable houses, complete with windows and doors, embodied his knack for enlarging, elongating, and exaggerating everyday items. One particularly charming piece resembled a Cornish cottage, complete with a perched seagull.

Shirts, jackets, and coats were adorned with supersized silk tags in harlequin colors, resembling deflated balloons—a lovely, strange detail that perfectly encapsulated Anderson’s aesthetic. Menswear looks transitioned from office chic to festival fun, with pop-up tent structures and colorful knit strips adding a playful, experimental edge.

Anderson’s recent visit to the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona inspired him to explore the experimental nature of street fashion. He noted how today’s younger generation pushes boundaries, suggesting that his collection, in comparison, might even be considered mild.




Leticia Dare

Leticia Dare is the Fashion Director for ASVOF.