Cathy Horyn Paris Fashion Week Review: Loewe

Photo-Illustration: by Crop; Photo: Courtesy of Loewe

A year ago, Jonathan Anderson and his team at Loewe decided to go in a new direction, risking the success of a brand that has seen revenue grow fivefold since Anderson was appointed director. creative in 2013. They removed the frills and whimsical details. for which Loewe became famous, and in two consecutive collections associated with Surrealism, moved forward. It was a clear and noticeable break from their past. Most amazing of all, they treat the female body, its shape, like they have never been before. They exposed it.

On Friday, in a pristine white box in the Republican Guard’s vast historic equestrian arena, Anderson gave his answer to the question: Will he be able to follow two shows Is that brilliant? He can, and then some. This time, the central concept is distortion – the distortion of the body, the distortion of reality. It is not a new concept in fashion. Elites of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries were doing strange things with devices like ruffs, camcorders, and panniers. The spring 2023 show’s first model was actress Taylor Russell in a strapless black velvet dress, the skirt of which extended off her hips in a hidden (and minimal) form. The style is an extreme reduction of early French court dress.

Photo: Courtesy of Loewe

However, in the digital age, distortion means something completely different. We’re so used to seeing funny mirror-scaled and controlled images that we hardly even think about it. But how do you recognize that size in an object like a garment or shoe? And I don’t mean simply taking an image of a Goya painting and manipulating it with a computer program and then printing it onto canvas. Instead, I mean something that successfully reproduces as distortions on the screen, leaving the viewer unsuspecting that it was intentional.

This collection did it in a number of ways. The most obvious is a light blue jacquard knit hoodie with a dashed check pattern that seems to mimic the squares of a computer game. Its khaki pants do the same thing. The outfit looked blurry as the model crossed the white floor of the studio, but Picture of the costume looks even more blurred. Don’t ask me how that happened. But hoodies, like other jacquard pants, are wearable. It’s both realistic and photogenic in its fuzzy way.

More subtly deformed are mini polo dresses in that same knit (a compact viscose with a hint of cotton). You might not notice it at first but the shoulders and collar are quite small, like a detail in the image has been stretched, while the models’ shoes have their own confusing size. Some resemble the seamless and molded plastic pumps that Barbies used to wear, except now that have been enlarged.

Photo: Courtesy of Loewe

Anderson also includes several styles of pants with a cardigan or fleece-trimmed aviator jacket worn over a hard padding, protruding from the body and just grazing the chin. That object reminds you of a baby carriage strapped to a parent or armor-like shapes created from bulky layers. These looks aren’t too successful, and it doesn’t matter. They’re an exploration of proportion and form – among the staples of fashion – and they follow the tradition of Rei Kawakubo’s 1997 “club and block” collection, in which she creates silhouettes. and shapes based on things that have become human appendages, such as cell phones and backpacks.

Despite some technical effects – pleated skirts, bodices in the shape of a large blooming anthurium – the collection is rather austere, and that only adds to its strength. Anderson presented a pair of miniskirts, one dark tangerine and the other lime, cut from glove leather and hung only, with an anthurium taped to one breast. The palette itself is new and special to Loewe, perhaps a nod to John Chamberlain’s artwork.

For writers as well as artists, it is the work and the process of doing it that reveals their ideas, better sentences. That’s probably what I admire most about Anderson’s latest work. It reveals the radical evolutionary progression of a creative director who is questioning not only clothing but also its relationship to other objects and ideas in the world. Cathy Horyn Paris Fashion Week Review: Loewe

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