A visit to a National Portrait Gallery exhibition featuring cameos was the lynchpin for the latest collection by Jonathan Anderson for the house of Loewe, and the result as a tremendous show, and the freshest fashion we’ve seen in the Paris season so far.
Where before Anderson’s signature garment both at Loewe and in his own house J. W. Anderson was the rouched up, semi-asymmetrical, printed dress, this season he steadied the ship with more cinched-in tailoring and a restrained color palette.
His opening look was a perfectly judged black wool coat with patch pockets and a collar that dripped down the chest, all anchored by platform boots and paired with a soft leather bag, cut in the shape of a plastic sack; his second was a white chiffon blouse that finished at the knee, worn with a lace bodice, whose sleeves ruffled out, worn over flared black pants. The billowing shirts, stocks and high lace collars of the cameos seen in silk blouses on the catwalk. The pearls much favored by the aristocrats in the cameos apparent in the trim of a sailor’s cream cable sweater, or in a fantastic chunky pullover completely covered with hundreds of pearls, paired incongruously with baggy jeans. Many models wore a small dramatic hats with tiny flared wings, almost like female members of the Guardia Civil, though in fact inspired by a design by mid-century hatter Coret from San Francisco.
Though the show was a thousand miles away from being literal, as the designer played with his composite style. To wit, a brilliantly effective outfit composed of Victorian school marm blouse, inverted striped sweater midriff and man’s cotton cut into a skirt. Like Anderson’s latest campaign for Loewe, shot again by master photographer Steven Meisel, this show deserved the title Magnified Emotions.
“I suppose cameos are the selfies of their time. And maybe they are going to be remembered more than our selfies? And… I am obsessed by the artist Richard Tuttle, and love the idea of something incredibly small. Where you look very closely at the detail,” smiled Anderson, referring to the Post-Minimalist artist.
The Northern Irish designer even picked up on the black floor and white wall of the exhibition. “When I saw it, I’m like, let’s lift that,” chuckled Anderson, surrounded by mobile phone wielding fashion editors back stage.
Anderson will also keep the Loewe cash registers turning over with some great new accessories; in particular natty new white, low-rise sneakers with spiral patterns; and new studded versions of his best-selling Puzzle bag.
Jonathan Anderson has been the enfant terrible of London for so many seasons, that it’s odd to talk about a highly mature collection, but that is exactly what this was.
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