It is truly remarkable what Jonathan Anderson has done for Loewe over the past few years. The Northern Irish designer continually redefines luxury, he has awoken the house from dormancy, repositioned its status as a key player in luxury fashion. The Spanish brand has an extensive history and each season Anderson contextualises what the brand should stand for in six months. His latest collection reminded one of fond fashion memories of the mid-to-late 2000s before the proliferation of Instagram and influencer culture.
There is a underlying sense of youth at his J.W. Anderson presentations at London Fashion Week; there he is dressing a trendy twenty-something-year-old with a penchant for fashion with a hint of neurotic perversity. Loewe certainly caters to a more mature woman—after all the luxury customer’s age averages at 53, and Anderson strictly adheres to this with a modern offering for women who don’t want to expose too much skin; they might want to look their age or not, and there’s something for all of those women in his collections.
The UNESCO headquarters—where he has presented his collections in Paris since his debut—were cloaked in darkness for the 9am show. The clothes matched the moody aesthetic. There were subdued tones—surprisingly stylish browns, rich patchworks, misty blues and whites of a seaside town, woodland greens dominated the palette. There were evident nods to the 18th century with the off-the-shoulder, ball gown and a checkered blouse and long day skirt. Amanda Goodge dressed in a green and white striped cashmere cardigan, an asymmetric, geometric printed dress matched the colouration of one of my favourite paintings, Bathers at Asnières by Georges Seurat (1884). Arguably, any of the models could’ve stepped out of a painting.
With accessories accumulating the most profits for the house, Anderson’s eye must be astute. Under his guidance, there has been the success of the Puzzle (an asymmetric calf leather shoulder bag), the Elephant (an elephantine leather construction) and the Hammock (a slouchy shoulder accessory with emphasis on craftsmanship and shape). This season he introduced a larger, bucket bag which sporadically appeared with the looks. There were necklaces and sturdy footwear too—suede brogues and leather boots, dainty sandals. The styling of the handbags is less than subtle: casting a glance at one of the models coming down the runway and one’ll immediate pinpoint the proposed focal point.
Fashion houses exist is to make profit. Some houses, unfortunately, make this clear as day—the only reason their show exists is to garner revenue. Whereas at others, you get the sense that you are being presented a creative proposition. Loewe, thanks to the leadership of Jonathan Anderson has become so much more than a cash cow. He imbues the Spanish house with integrity with his design handwriting which advances season on season.
Photo Credit: Vogue Runway