Everyone is falling all over themselves to crown Jonathan Anderson of Loewe as the new Phoebe Philo – or the new “thinking woman’s designer of Paris”– but the frenzy is unwarranted. For years, Anderson has been doing his mature, artisanal, inventive, and rustic collections for Loewe to significant critical aplomb, and he’s been doing it the entire time Philo was at Céline. He’s no shrinking violet, he isn’t trying to fill someone else’s shoes, he hasn’t been waiting in the wings for his moment, he isn’t biding his time. He is a fully realized designer.
Anderson’s vision is coherent, infinite, and occasionally even tongue-in-cheek, as in the case of his references to the banality of housework found scattered throughout his terrific Fall/Winter 2018 collection. With bras affixed like static cling to the front of sophisticated dresses and column gowns slashed and twisted up with spare threads the way laundry sometimes gets contorted, the real world and the high fashion world collided. His Loewe collections are always filled with little surprises like that, and that is what makes them so special.
Anderson strikes a perfect accord between the commercial and the creative.
For seasons, he has been quietly asserting excellent craftsmanship into his collections, especially when it comes to leatherwork. Here is no different, as pouchy leather pockets came attached to plaid suits, and colored leather strips created cage-like overlays atop shirt-dresses. Then there were the expected ways to wear leather: beautifully tailored leather jackets, buttery soft backpacks, and lean leather dresses with contrast trim. With some of the best outerwear that we’ve seen from him yet, a sublime line-up of dresses, and a great array of leather handbags, Anderson strikes a perfect accord between the commercial and the creative.