Purple Institute

[March 6 2015]

Read our exclusive interview with Jonathan Anderson by Olivier Zahm in Purple Fashion #23 out now

OLIVIER ZAHMAt 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 ZAHMThat 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 ZAHMLike ’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.


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…

Read more in Purple Fashion magazine #23. Click here to buy

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