The button-up shirt has been tried and tested closet staple for as long we've been dressing ourselves. Versatile, chic and universally appropriate, this season the perennial classic has been given a 2016 makeover by celebrated Nothern Irish designer and Loewe creative director J.W. Anderson. In a tightly edited capsule collection for Net-a-Porter, the designer presents six fresh and directional iterations of the cotton button up - from one shoulder dresses and peplum-style corsets to an off-the-shoulder top with exaggerated sleeves. Sticking to a palette of wear-anywhere white and preppy blue pinstripe, the designer has managed to shed a new perspective on a well-worn wardrobe piece. Here, we quiz the designer on the inspiration behind his collection.
What's the design philosophy behind the capsule and what inspired the collection? Why is the shirt the focal point of the collection?
For me, we have always had a very special relationship with Net-a-Porter because they were one of our first stockists and buyers. I feel the shirt is instrumental in both men's and women's wardrobes; it's something that really defines a brand. Being able to find a focused approach to it is something I really wanted to do for Net-a-Porter.
Who would you like to see wearing the capsule?
I always think it's most exciting when you see someone you don't know on the street wearing it - that's the most amazing moment.
What's your favourite piece and how would you style it?
I really love the off-the-shoulder top. I always think the great thing about shirting is that it goes with jeans, and jeans are probably the most modern functional garment that ever existed. That's what is so great about shirting - it is an up-play/down-play.
Do you have any other hidden talents?
I used to work on a farm so I am very good at doing any farm task you ever want to ask.
What does the future hold for you?
The future for me is to consistently keep growing the business and to keep exciting customers. For me, I wanted to do this job to be able to work with customers, it's the most exciting process. They are the hardest and most amazing people to challenge, without them I don't exist.
The J.W. Anderson capsule collection launches exclusively at Net-a-Porter on March 9.