Loewe Advances Avant-Garde Artistry for Fall/Winter 2016

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Although this is a serious Fashion (yes, capital "F" required) collection, there is a sense of whimsy to Anderson's work at Loewe.

Come in from out of the cold, blustery day and enter the Maison l’UNESCO in Paris. There you will find two rooms filled with mural-adorned Joan Miró walls with stern stone backs, framed photographs by George Platt Lynes, a slender jade-green Giacometti sculpture, and a giant green ball squeezed between four pillars upholstered in snakeskin called “The Repressed Apple” by Siobhán Hapaska. Cubed boxes act as seating, some filled with common household objects like razors, lightbulbs, and wire dish scrubbers. What is this place exactly? Surely, you’ve never seen anything like it before, and yet it feels so familiar. According to Jonathan Anderson, the Creative Director of Loewe, you are in a sophisticated, luxury apartment, one owned by a woman of wealth and the most superior taste. Loewe’s girl is all grown up for Fall/Winter 2016, and it shows, not just in the incredible environment created by Anderson, but also in his thrilling clothes and accessories.

Anderson’s obsession with interior design has bled into his work at Loewe before, but for Fall/Winter 2016 his creative output reached extraordinary heights. To whit, the meditative soundtrack on smoking cessation that was backed by ominous tonal sounds. No longer a girl, Loewe’s worldly woman has put late-night parties behind her, and with them, her vices. She might be trying to quit smoking, but addiction is a multi-headed Hydra – cut one head off and it grows back. This season, her new preoccupation is art, and all things avant-garde. Her propensity to collect crops up on every look, as smocks and handkerchief-hemmed skirts come topped with immense sculptural jewelry, gold link chokers, metallic corsets, and more.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Although this is a serious Fashion (yes, capital “F” required) collection, there is a sense of whimsy to Anderson’s work. Ingeniously worked tailoring displayed both the fitted and fluid, whipped into odd and alluring shapes. One smocked top had a single pleated sleeve, another jersey dress tacked with geometric metal shapes was worn with one royal blue glove. The stranger things got, the more exciting the looks became.

Styling elements aside, the clothes were ingeniously cut and moved with casual ease despite their astonishing accoutrements. There were asymmetrically tailored tweed dresses with swishy fringed panels and hemlines, sheer turtlenecks painted with metallic shapes, structured leather corsets, handsome leather separates in a cozy relaxed silhouette, and an impossibly beautiful skirt made entirely from layers of knotted silk scarves. One dress was made completely out of plain rubber bands, but you wouldn’t know it unless you were examining it up close (most audience members thought it was crochet).

Anderson’s obsession with interior design has bled into his work at Loewe before, but for Fall/Winter 2016 his creative output reached extraordinary heights.

Did we mention the trompe l’oeil details? They were legion. Separates were actually conjoined dresses with foldover peplums to hide the seams, and what looked like patterns was actually tissue-paper-thin fabric layered at angles across the surface of sophisticated blouses. Everywhere you looked there was a first impression, and then a second, thrilling reveal. Sneaky-brilliant Anderson tricked us again.

The final look offered a glamorous bookend to what was Loewe’s best collection to date. It caught the light at a thousand different points of contact, and was comprised of intersecting gold and silver metal rings. One audience member couldn’t help but remark on its editorial nature, saying, “It’s going to be photographed to death. To death!” The only complaint we could possibly have about a show so powerful and self-assured is that it moved too fast. The moment of rapture was over too soon. We could only wish to see the clothes walk slower, so our eyes could drink in every delicious detail.

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