Having Scottish roots, I’m no stranger to the pleasures of plaid. I have various iterations of the Ross Clan tartan—from skirts in the heavy-on-red traditional pattern to dresses in the hunting version that channel darker greens—that all get pressed into service at various Robbie Burns parties each year. But I’ll just as easily pull these pieces out for a winter dinner party or a school concert—even a run to the grocery store with a jean jacket.
Plaid pairs well with everything and certainly never goes out of style, despite the fashion industry’s insistence on cycling it in and out as the new “it” thing.
No one knows this better than Jonathan Anderson—Unionist, sartorial provocateur, designer to rappers and grandmothers alike.
Anderson, who grew up in Northern Ireland but now spends his time heading up his eponymous label in London while simultaneously handling creative director duties at LVMH’s Loewe, is the present-day keeper of plaid. No one stewards it more deftly than Anderson who, at cult-fave Loewe, reimagines it as bonafide luxury good to his own line where it stays in a sophisticated, playful wheelhouse. And, just this month, he now deftly weaves in plaid at Uniqlo in his fourth lauded partnership with the Japanese retailer.
The new Uniqlo and Jonathan Anderson collaboration is rife with both brands’ celebrated hallmarks: Anderson’s subversive detailing and street cool manifested in classic forms; Uniqlo’s innovative, tech-forward approach to fabrics.
Whether plaid, fleece or corduroy, the collab rocks a “Great British Outdoors” theme that allows the Brit to explore his traditional heritage in various materials and scale. Uniqlo—an over $21-billion-a-year business with more than 2000 stores in 21 countries—straddles the art of high-quality everyday basics that are anything but basic (no stink, no sweat, reflective wear). It serves as the perfect platform to showcase Anderson’s contemporary design chops coveted by everyone from Pusha-T to well-heeled octogenarians.
In the collection, Anderson keeps his signature refined whimsy dovetailed throughout without sacrificing functionality or performance. Puffer coats with zipper detailing can be worn inside out, jaunty corduroy pants receive a drawstring waistband and, of course, there’s that timeworn plaid peppered throughout, from dark plaid raincoats evoking a military style to wrap kilt skirts made modern with large fringe detailing that are perfect for the symphony—and the Superstore.
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