The Favourite. Loewe AW19

Jonathan Anderson‘s Loewe is never straightforward. While the designer loved Yorgos Lanthimos’ incredible The Favourite film, he didn’t just knock off historic costume-wear. How genius is the pearl-beaded sweatshirt? It’s a soft nod to Queen Anne’s fixation with gorgeous jewels, and pearls of course. The white lace and black silk finale dress was also quite close to the film’s aesthetic, but transformed into something very contemporary looking. I’m always in awe with the unparalleled levels of creativity and craftsmanship that underpin Anderson’s collections – but his real genius is found in how he elevates easy, wearable fashion. Big coats with fur inserts; a dress that looks like a knit with sheer skirt; feather boas that don’t look ridiculous; crotchet jackets and tasselled skirts… oh, and of course the ‘elephant’ hat that might make absolutely no sense, but looks right in this collection. Jonathan is the king of curation. The accessory that wins the season? The new Lantern handbag that isn’t actually that new – it comes from Loewe’s archives. It’s classy shape with a lady-like clasp is so elegant. I bet if Queen Anne lived today, she would order one (or two).

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Time for Fantasy. JW Anderson AW19

Jonathan Anderson’s autumn-winter 2019 collection was a play with construction. From the architectural grey coats and statuesque shoulder pads to fluid-like drapes and airy, over-sized frocks, this was a JW Anderson line-up, where you can actually turn to a number of completely different things. Also, as it turned out, Anderson wanted to go ‘fashion’ this season, in this today rare, uplifting, statement-making manner. “The idea of a woman walking on clouds – this idea of fantasy and imagination in fashion,” he backstage. “I mean, that’s why we do it.” While the last few shows he presented for women at his namesake brand felt overly sophisticated, this one was a like a much-needed, carefree moment. Not ridiculous or pretentious, but joyous and with a bit of distance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Eclecticism. Loewe AW19

Loewe’s decision to show its menswear during Paris fashion week couldn’t be better. Jonathan Anderson’s exquisite work for the Spanish brand has to have the motion of a runway. A look-book/showroom presentation doesn’t necessarily work that way, so the previous seasons for men felt a bit under the radar, and even… still? But the autumn-winter 2019 line-up was exactly that: vibrant, bold, full of energy, and optimism that was beautifully reflected in the joyously eclectic elements of the collection. Let’s start from the beginning. A yellow, canvas sculpture by Franz Erhard Walther was the focal point of the show space at Maison de l’UNESCO. Fragments of clothing were strapped to the freestanding piece (‘Gelbe Modellierung’ from 1985), which resembled the cross-section of a wardrobe. Walther’s artwork influenced Anderson’s designs this season, as they were all about mixing, matching, deconstructing and, lightly saying, playing. As usual with Jonathan’s work at Loewe, everything was very artisanal and made with great affection. Whether we’re speaking of the XXL, rough-looking cardigan made of different yarns and threads, heavily patch-worked sweater or a trench coat constructed out of wool scarves. But the collection’s ‘show-stealer’ award goes to the boots. Well, not just regular boots. We’re talking of unzipped boots, going all the way up to a belt. “We were looking at gaiters and fishermen. It was early-’80, kind of, when we unzipped them. It created kind of flaps – Western, but non-Western. It was how to take something fetish and de-fetishize it.” This sort of ‘odd’ seduction was as well applied to tailoring. Looks were slim in the torso, with flared pants. Some of the suits were in houndstooth (styled with a pink puffer jacket), some had a one, satin lapel. “We’d done the suit in the women’s collection – we kept the waist, and extended the back,” said Anderson. “There’s something quite chic and suave about it.” The tailored pieces reinterpreted the nearly forgotten, cosmopolitan elegance of men. Others felt like they were suited for an adventure, or were brought back from some remote destination. Collected and curated into an outfit – like the huge ‘fishnet’ knit or the multi-coloured, fringed bags. Summing up. Together with Marni, Loewe is my ultimate favourite of the season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.