Loewe SPRING 2019 READY-TO-WEAR

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“It’s free; it’s sensual; it’s satin; it’s a mass of textures. I feel this is what the brand is becoming—its DNA,” said Jonathan Anderson in his show debrief at Loewe. “I had the idea about people walking through a gallery space who are individuals but connected by a common thread.”

What is that common thread? Will bohemian, relaxed, grown-up, and classy do? It’s hard to put a finger on it while avoiding fashion clichés, but here it is: A sense of cultivated elegance is coming from fashion’s new guard—and Anderson is in the vanguard of it. Looking down the long barrel of history, it’s a movement that is stepping in to put the values of craft and individual choice back into that much-debased term, luxury. A psychological replacement for the role minimalism used to play.

Anderson had his models walk among works by three disparate contemporary artists in the landmark UNESCO heritage building. It’s his seasonal curatorial practice, part of the subliminal flattery in being invited here. Ergo: You are now entering a zone in which you will be treated as if you have an intelligent art-attuned mind, and then I am going to tempt you to death with a beautifully made assembly of clothes and accessories handmade for the person you are.

What we saw was a continuation of Anderson’s almost universally sympathetic fit-and-flare house silhouette, even-easier-to-wear caftans, and tons of woven and knitted textures. He did interesting yet not-too-deconstructed pantsuits and exceptional dresses—one of patchwork quilting, and another, a delicately crumpled pink nightie edged in lace flowers.

Of course, Loewe is a bag show, and this time one of superb variety. Anderson used the word “totemic” to describe them, and yes, you could kind of see what he meant: the idea of a bag—be it in fringed leather, crocheted raffia, canvas, or basketry playing the role of a treasured portable art object—signifying belonging to the tribe of the refined and discreetly wealthy.

Anderson is still too young to be accused of being “mature.” Perhaps, it’s just that he is of the new generation that can see “mature” ideas with new eyes. He’s certainly learned to understand the power of consistency—taking his time to consider, refine, and not rush on from one thing to another is a good thing, especially for customers who consciously reject the constant buffeting of trend for trend’s sake. He said as much: “It’s about not being antsy, thinking, Oh, we need to go here, we need to do that.” And then, he distilled it all in a single phrase: “It’s a celebration of being beautiful.”

 

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