Long before the age of selfies, if you wanted to commemorate your visage, you hired a portrait artist, and then you sat for hours, days even, until it was completed. Can you even imagine? In an era when you can post a photo of yourself to social media and immediately quantify the results, when you can order nearly anything to your doorstep and it arrives within minutes, when immediate gratification has been commodified and conglomerated, it seems absolutely crazy to do anything that takes tremendous, slow-creeping patience.
The pace of fashion reflects the hectic nature of the 21st century. Designers are being crushed beneath accelerated production schedules, factories can scarcely keep up with the demands of fast fashion, the world is practically toppled beneath the weight of excess consumerism. And still we shop.
But what if you were slowly and painstakingly to build a wardrobe of really, really great clothes, clothes that were so outstandingly designed that you might live in them for years to come? We’re not talking about trendy clothes, and we’re not talking about classics. We’re talking about clothes so interesting that years from now they’ll still be regarded as something fresh, modern, and compelling. Enter: Loewe.
At Loewe, slow fashion isn’t a foundational concept, but rather a byproduct of its thoughtful, radically alluring collections.
For Fall/Winter 2019, Loewe’s presentation was called ‘My Best Self’, and the set came sparsely decorated with rows of tiny portraits so small that you might mistake them for light sockets. The brand’s sets are usually elaborately artistic, but this one let the clothes shine. And shine they did.
Some great moments came courtesy of a crochet sweater that changed material to linen halfway up but left a remainder of stitches to climb up the waist, an elegant black cape/coat with overlong sleeves that were impractical but totally delightful at the same time, a really fantastic checkerboard coat, roomy leather dresses trimmed with a swath of either fur or feathers at the hem, a “moth-eaten” paisley frock, two jackets with sublime sleeves, and a truly jaw-dropping ivory top completely encrusted in corpuscular pearls. Wow.
At Loewe, slow fashion isn’t a foundational concept, but rather a byproduct of its thoughtful, radically alluring collections. Jonathan Anderson isn’t on some warpath about stopping the monolith that is modern consumerism, but he does happen to be creating some of fashion’s most stunning clothes. Fall/Winter 2019 sees him at his pared-back best .
It’s almost annoying to think he’s probably off to the races, designing the next collection already. It would be so much nicer to let this one unfurl its creative wings and spread, to be slowly and enthusiastically appreciated by a wider audience. But instead, fashion compresses time, forcing us on to the next course before we’ve even savored the first bite.