The collaborative collection by JW Anderson and A.P.C. draws its creative spark from Joseph Beuys's iconic performance art piece, "I Like America and America Likes Me." In May 1974, the renowned German artist staged a protest against the Vietnam War by flying from Dusseldorf to New York, where he was transported in an ambulance, cocooned in a felt blanket, and confined within the René Block Gallery for three days alongside a coyote. This evocative historical context serves as the foundation for a collection that artfully translates Beuys's symbolic journey into fashion.
The collection embodies Beuys's abstract concepts through subtle design elements. The rough texture of the duffle coat subtly recalls the felt from his performance, while the ambulance and gallery address become graphic motifs woven into boldly coloured T-shirts and various pieces. Comprising attire for both women and men, the collection centres around two distinct silhouettes: one, with a tailored and rocker aesthetic featuring black denim, a biker jacket, and hand-painted cotton knit; the other, a more bohemian style with loose shapes, multi-coloured knitwear, and distressed denim. A notable innovation is the introduction of stonewashed effects achieved through laser techniques, eliminating the need for chemical processes.
Overall, the collection celebrates classic fashion elements while meticulously attending to details. From the use of the finest American jersey in T-shirts to hand-knitted sweaters and the historic duffle coat with its rope trim and integrated whistle, every piece exudes a sense of timeless elegance. This collaboration, according to Jonathan Anderson, represents a pursuit of glorifying rather than overhauling the familiar, with A.P.C.'s knack for achieving just the right balance between contemporary flair and traditional style. Jonathan Anderson and Jean Touitou's creative synergy transcends fashion, resulting in a collection that brilliantly explores the limitless possibilities of art and style, following the chimeric journey inspired by Joseph Beuys's ambulance.