[March 6 2015]
OLIVIER ZAHM — At first, you wanted to be an actor. When did you stop acting?
JONATHAN ANDERSON — Yeah, it was actually quite serious. When I was very young, I was in the National Youth Music Theatre and the Shakespeare Theatre Company as well. I went back and forth to London and did a lot of plays. Then I applied to the Actors Studio, which is in Washington, D.C., with a branch in New York. I went there to study. I did Stanislavski and Brecht, and then I went on to do the Alexander Technique, which is about realigning your body and blah, blah, blah, becoming a character. I really enjoyed it. I did that for two years, acting in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Richard II. That was great. But I remember I was always aware of fashion. I enjoyed it. I wanted to dress well, and I enjoyed the idea of brands. When I was younger, I was fascinated by people like Tom Ford.
OLIVIER ZAHM — That was in the late ’90s.
JONATHAN ANDERSON — Yeah, so you had Tom Ford and magazines like yours. There was Dazed and Confused, The Face, Arena Homme+ … It was that moment. Gucci was doing Hawaiian prints and shaving women’s pussies, and it was all very graphic.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Like ’97 or something like that.
JONATHAN ANDERSON — It was great. It was one of those moments — and I remember it was just when Hedi Slimane started. He started at YSL, and then he went to Dior. That was ’99, was it? And I think that collection was ’98. He did two amazing collections for YSL that are probably my favorite menswear shows of all time.
OLIVIER ZAHM — Oh, really?
JONATHAN ANDERSON — Yeah, because I thought they were so modern for a man. I remember being young and being obsessed about getting a pair of trousers. It was like a pair of wide-leg trousers or something. And so anyway…