PFW AW19: Loewe

HOT ON THE HEELS of the success of his much-lauded show at London Fashion Week and the launch of the third edition of his collaboration with Japanese high street retailer Uniqlo, Loewe’s creative director Jonathan Anderson is going places. Sticking to tried-and-tested elements from past seasons, his Fall Winter collection for the Spanish fashion house was surprisingly safe. That is not a bad thing however, for if anything, this collection was Anderson’s vision for Loewe, perfectly distilled – proof that six years after his appointment at the storied house, he is still at his prime.

Inspiration came in the unlikely form of the selfie. It presented itself not as celebrity snaps but as 16th and 17th century portrait miniatures of Mary Queen of Scots and King Charles I, as well as a 1839 self portrait of Robert Cornelius, the first selfie thought to exist. Staying true to Loewe’s emphasis on understatedness and repudiating the conspicuous and attention-grabbing styles that have become the norm in the age of Instagram, Anderson sought instead for a poetic and pared-down wardrobe of neutrals, black and white. This was also mirrored in the setting of the show: in contrast the relative pomp of Spring Summer which saw models parading amongst works of art, they walked down a simple yet sleek black runway at the UNESCO site in Paris’ 7th arrondisement. If last season’s dictum was to go all out, this season is the complete opposite.

That is not to say that it was boring. Anderson borrowed the courtly codes of the past – poet sleeves, puritan necklines, pearl accents – and combined them with new interpretations of what could be called classic Loewe elements – waisted blazers, uneven hems, exaggerated pocket or lapel details, and Anderson’s signature melange of contrasting textiles. The result? A collection that will undoubtedly tempt the Loewe customer, who cares neither for ostentatious branding nor vacuous slogans; for her, luxury is quiet, discreet and understated, evinced in the form of quality craftsmanship. Standout pieces include a leather skirt with shiny silver tassles, a sweater fully embroidered with pearls and the last outfit in the collection: a black-and-white shirt dress, accentuated with flowing broderie anglaise details at the collar, hem and sleeves. This is royalty in today’s terms.

With Anderson’s nod to the noble fashions of the past and Vivaldi’s stirring violin music echoing throughout, it is hard to ignore the possibility of a connection to the beautiful-but-bizarre aesthetic of Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest award-winning film, The Favourite. It doesn’t matter if the connection exists or not, though. Loewe has seen in recent years, a meteoric reemergence as an It brand to follow. Amongst fashion pundits and fans alike, Anderson is the favourite.

by Kay Ean Leong

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