PARIS, France — Jonathan Anderson has found a gorgeous, sunny rhythm at Loewe. The Ibicencan hippieness with which he transformed the brand has now become its signature. Scarf dresses, raw fabrics, artisanal knits and bits and pieces loan Loewe an unhinged beauty.
You want to whip it off the catwalk and run it down some dusty Balearic goat track to a cottage on a clifftop where you might paint a picture or throw a pot. Or at least that’s what I was thinking as I watched Anderson’s latest.
Its innate artiness was a reflection of his faith in the beauty of objects. Anderson’s love of craft has always been obvious, not just in his own collections but in his extra-curricular promotions. He staged his presentation on Friday as the recreation of a walk through Signals, a London gallery in the mid-60s. There were ceramics by Japanese artist Ryoji Koie revolving on turntables by Dieter Rams. There were carwash installations by Lara Favaretto. Plus a roomful of bubbles, and woven baskets by Loewe Craft Prize finalist Joe Hogan, whose influence was obvious in some of the bags the models carried.
Almost all of them had a wingpiece. “We’re a leather house, and I’m trying to get the bags to the level they should be,” said Anderson. Whether fringed or crocheted, shoulder sack or bucket bag, this range of Loewe accessories was peerless.
It’s in Anderson’s naturally perverse nature to see things others don’t. If I imagined the woman in this collection as an artist in her studio, he saw her as “a pseudo-intellectual, married to a doctor in Hampstead, having multiple affairs, and living in the Erno Goldfinger building.” Well, take that, me and my lady artist.
But Anderson was right, of course. He’s mastered a very convincing sensuality in the long, languid flow of his clothes, elevated by craft-y details like the fount of feathers on a satin pajama set, or the leather yoke on a satin shift. “Ease and swagger”, he called it .
He said he wanted his presentation to be a celebration of being “beautiful and sensual”. That’s a mark of how far Anderson has come with this brand. Contrasting a sun-bleached shorts suit with a sinuous, satin-y shift clarified the twin poles of the collection: pragmatic function, luxurious form. It’s a lot like Spain.