JONATHAN Anderson is very comfortable in the forefront of fashion at the moment. To the addition of his own label, J.W. Anderson (which thrived in rural aesthetics at LFW), his creative outlook for Loewe is proving to lead the way in well-crafted, contemporary clothing. The Irish designer unveiled his SS19 collection for the Spanish-born brand this morning in Paris. Amidst feather-finished tops, satin slips and woven accessories, there was an overarching appreciation of early modernism through a current lens of art. And to affirm: wearable art.

The show was set inside a simulated exhibition construct at the Maison de l’UNESCO, Paris. Mid-century rooms served as the backdrop for a collection that felt historical through its basis but current through its cuts and details. To expand: raw textiles pulsed throughout, but they were clad in an opulent colour palette which exuded total exoticism, from electric blues, to fiery oranges, to potent pinks. Styles spanned across countless floor-length asymmetric dresses down to flowing, slitted skirts and fisherman sweaters. Safe to say, these garments were tailored towards a textural infusion of intelligible and inventive style. As justified by Anderson in his show notes, they were communicating his theme of Brutalist hedonism.

Loewe’s mastery of modernity derives much from its details. This morning’s most notable revelation was manifested through feather. It finished pockets on floor-length coats and bristled against topstitched gabardine, synonymously accompanying fringe scarves which were embedded down blouses and tunics. The majority of Anderson’s models were also accessorised with black whipcord collars composed through leather. The impact? A striking finish to an array of looks which played with proportions of the silhouette. It curved and inflated across dynamic volumes of material – sleeves, for example, spanned across bishop, bell and juliet styles to complete rushed tops and sweaters that are coded to Loewe’s current identity.

Earlier this year, the house’s craft prize saw finalist Joe Hogan as a willow artist to be watched. His influence was strong for Anderson’s SS19 vision: the Gate bag in particular was thatched in straw, and basket bags explored a floral fantasy through optimistic, multicoloured weaves. So what exactly did Loewe’s language speak for next season? Foreground by a sensual, earthy backdrop, its array of styles constructed Anderson’s ‘kinetic movement’: beautiful, bold, and finished with a feather.

by Faye Fearon

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