Until this weekend, Loewe’s creative director Jonathan Anderson had just shown menswear in stylish presentations inside the house’s St Germain headquarters.
This season, Anderson opted for a show inside UNESCO’s Paris HQ, where he has staged all his women’s ready-to-wear shoes for the historic Spanish brand. Anderson moved location slightly to a concrete cavern of a room whose center-point was a huge orange wall hanging by German artist Franz Erhard Walther. The entire space had muted orange walls and carpet; while the various shards of jackets and pants within the hanging were reflected in the several shamans who finished the show. Their ragged coats looked like they were made of matress stuffing.
The designer’s wackiest idea were Western chaps worthy of an Argentine gaucho, finished with open zips at the back that undulated satisfyingly. Other pants could have been waders for northern fishermen, a trick he included in his signature menswear show, staged in surrealist clan leader André Breton’s former studio earlier in the season.
“We were kind of looking at fishermen, and the early 80s. At how you take a fetish object and de-fetishize it. And I quite like that they were western but not western,” said the designer in a stuffed backstage post show.
Anderson certainly loves classic with a double twist – from his huge trench coats in contrasting colors that also had ragged scarf-like trims; or his absurdist crocheted ponchos; or an eye-popping Marilyn Monroe print silk shirt paired with the aforementioned chaps; or best of all the marvelous cable knits finished with semi-precious stones, made to look “like the galaxy,” in the designer’s words.
The idea being that any fan could go into a Loewe flagship and buy one of the sweaters and immediately get Anderson’s arty fashion concept.
He even lifted a suit from Loewe’s womenswear made with baggy Oxford pants and subtly altered the fit for guys. And capped off a fine display with some great shearlings with suede patch pockets and trompe-l’oeil detailing. A collection that was rugged yet also radical and very cool all round.
Under Anderson, Loewe has grown into a significant business, which will break a half billion euros this year. And there is plenty more growth in the pipeline, seeing as Loewe still only has 140 stores and shop-in-shops. Next up is the opening of a flagship on New Bond Street in London. Last week it also expanded into outerwear with a special Webster Street pop-up in Soho, reaching a racier, younger clientele.
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