Loewe’s ceramic chic
If you asked most people attending shows in Paris this week who is the freshest voice in fashion these days, the most likely response would be Jonathan Anderson, who presented a novel, notable and noble collection for Loewe on a chilly Friday morning in Paris.
Anderson has been combining elements of Parisian chic and Spanish Renaissance art for some time at Loewe. For fall winter 2020/21 he added another particular layer – the works of Takuro Kuwata, a Japanese ceramicist who won a special mention in the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize, a craft award that Anderson invented for the Spanish brand.
The results were incorporated into breastplates and stomach patches in a series of ornately shaped dresses; and in a brilliant collection of chunky bracelets and squares that dangled from some smart bags like the Flamenco clutch.
Working with gilded brocades and silk jacquards, contrasted with utilitarian wools, Anderson dreamed up a bravura fashion statement. Curiously, many of the finest shapes recalled van Eyck or Vermeer rather than Velasquez. Like the opening dresses with strict torsos that flared below the waist; or a really brilliant Confederate gray armadillo cut coat that had front-row buyer nostrils flaring with envy. He cut just one suit in black serge, and it hung perfectly – plus it was complemented by super snazzy pumps finished with pearls in the house’s logo 'L' pattern.
Though the stand-out moment was a trio of beautiful silk jacquard gowns worn with beefeater large feather headgear. The one in putty gray worn by an Asian model was veritable Instagram heaven.
More than most designers creating for two significant houses – in his case, Loewe and his own label JW Anderson – the Ulsterman has largely avoided leakage between the two aesthetics. This season there was a little, such as a pair of giant A-line coats with massive lapels that recalled his London show 11 days ago. But overall, Jonathan’s ability to keep the two concepts separate – especially when it comes accessories, the heart of any business – has been impressive.
It’s been a European catwalk shows season where it’s been very a la mode to use veteran models. Anderson, however, kept them on his front-row seats – as Amber Valletta, Doutzen Kroes, Karlie Kloss and Carolyn Murphy all sat together opposite Anna Wintour and Anderson’s ultimate boss, LVMH honcho Sidney Toledano, who runs over a half dozen brands within the luxury empire, including Loewe.
And so, the audience exited UNESCO, where every Loewe show by Anderson has been staged, out into a dank day, but with large smiles on their faces. Tellingly, few broader than that of Toledano.
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