PARIS, France — How do you make everything tactile? Jonathan Anderson’s question was the right one, given Loewe’s leathery heritage. His answer was correct too: put the emphasis on skin. And then, to honour his own obsessions, he made the flesh beneath that skin equally important.
Has there ever been another Paris collection that made saran wrap so central? A good number of the audience perched on saran-wrapped concrete plinths to watch models walk by swathed in the same material, or at least, in plastic. The venue – the Maison de l’UNESCO — was also reflected in the fractured mirror decoration that echoed the crazy paving under our feet.
Anderson wanted electricity, a sharper edge than his first few exercises for Loewe. He’d already shown with his own collection in London what was possible with the extremes of modern fabric technology. Here, he pushed still further. The most striking effect was the foil-coated, de-embossed napa, silver leather pants but not as we’ve previously known them.
Now picture such a piece sharing the catwalk with a buttery suede blouson and matching pants, or a jumpsuit in natural linen. A snippy conversation between organic and synthetic has often defined Anderson’s shows, earthy vs sci-fi sheen. In this collection, there was a dress that spilled tinsel. There was also a recurrent print of Canada geese. Anderson loves found, prosaic, even kitsch objects — things re-purposed. That’s why his mismatched buttons often look like something you could find on a beach, or in a ceramicist's atelier. The way he used the Loewe label as a visual in this collection came from a similar place.
It’s that freewheeling approach which makes Anderson’s work so fascinating. And it’s that same approach which means that he’ll miss the same way he hits. His new Loewe collection had its fair share of both.