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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Loewe: Mat and shiny mastery

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There can be no hotter brand and designer in contemporary menswear than Loewe and Jonathan Anderson, whose sculptural style, outrageous sense of proportions and use of his acute cultural antenna fused in a magnificent show in Paris on Saturday morning.

Loewe – Spring-Summer2024 – Menswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

A hyper original blend of mat and shiny, volumes and balances, it was by far the most inventive collection in the 12-day European menswear season that began in Florence and ends in Paris tomorrow.
 
His most startling idea was supremely elongated trousers that flared and swept the floor and rose way up the stomach. One might need a waist like the Empress of Sisi to wear them, but the effect was magical. 

His other brill’ trick was matching sequins to the exact same color of the fabric they covered. Seen in cobalt blue trousers, brunt gold shirts and cardigans, and even rounded rock star shoes. 
 
The cut was heroic whether high collar dazzling white sequin sweaters or purple pinstripe shirts. Mat and shiny and sparkle together, as sequined pants were paired with color block chunky cable sweaters. 
 
This season Anderson worked with the great Greek-American sculptor Lynda Benglis, and the set was built around two of her dramatic bronze fountains. One, named ‘The Wave of the World’, looked like a burst of magma; the other featured three towers of pots. Water flowed down both. The back of the stainless-steel show invite featured a daguerreotype-style etching by Peter Bellamy of the 81-year-old artist four decades ago in front of the first statue.
 
“These are some of my favorite art works. They have never been seen together. And I love the idea of working with Lynda. Plus, I wanted the idea of looking up at someone, as the audience was looking up at the statues. The idea that the torso becomes smaller and the leg longer. The look became dwarfed, but I liked that,” explained Anderson post show.
 

Loewe – Spring-Summer2024 – Menswear – France – Paris – © ImaxTree

Plus, his tailoring was fresh –gray check sports coats with flap pockets under vertical pockets, or divine coats – starring a tremendous, oversized version in multiple herringbone variations.
 
“Everything derived from the idea of the wardrobe. By changing the proportion we end up with a different type of angst,” explained Anderson, who despite his leadership position in fashion occasionally sounds like a Hamlet in pain.
 
A decade ago, Loewe was an admired but dusty old Spanish label. Today, thanks to Anderson, it’s the hottest ticket in menswear. Underlined by its front row where a gang of ‘Succession’ stars led by Brian Cox enjoyed the action, surrounded by K-pop and Thai singers, indie actors and Pharrell Williams. Marking the third LVMH show Pharrell has attended this season, beside his own at Vuitton. What a good company man.
 
As the show progressed, sequined tops in gold or silver were compressed and ruched into fashionable sculptures. Before Jonathan went into overdrive with stamped leather and brocade sheets of fabrics attached to torsos with large faux pins. 
 
“Making the collection, we attach pieces of fabrics onto look boards. So, I loved the idea of trompe l’oeil, so the actual garment looks like someone put a swatch on it. That way it becomes a 2D image,” chuckled the designer. 

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