Aristocratic. Loewe SS20

“Aristocratic” is one of the words Jonathan Anderson used to describe his spring-summer 2020 Loewe collection. Indeed, there was something very royal about the earthy parachute coat-dress, multi-layered lace collars and the sublime, white night-gowns. Historical dressing was the key for Jonathan this season, and he conveyed that idea like no one else. Anderson isn’t new in putting craft and handwork at the heart of Loewe, and this time he pushed extremes of craftsmanship luxury to ethereal heights. For the collection, he moved into the realms of “a different kind of craft, which is ultimately historical,” he said. “I looked at the 16th and 17th centuries, where the craft was in the tiniest thing . . . where you had to rely on precision.” Chantilly, guipure, and marguerite lace; drawn threadwork; sprigged voile shapes. There’s romance, and there’s impressive, hand-made process behind all those details. Here’s another aspect of the collection: Loewe is a Spanish house. The aristocratic Spanish-ness is present as well in the collection, even in the pannier-hip dresses he sent out. It’s a shape that goes in line with Spanish cultural significance (think Velázquez’s 1656 Las Meninas portrait of the Spanish royal family). All his revivals of lace and linen fit into that context too. The marvelous fabrics were depicted in the paintings of Goya and Zurbarán, all exhibited at Madrid’s Prado Museum. Summing up, this collection is a feast for the eyes.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Odd Elegance. JW Anderson SS20

For the second season now, Jonathan Anderson seems to be experimenting with odd elegance at his name-sake label. There’s something both ritualistic and futuristic about his draped tunics with jewelled bras tied on with rope straps, and chunky, crystal studded belts worn to one side of the hip. Who is this woman? Where is she heading to? There’s something unexplainably refined about her, and definitely elusive. Tailored jackets and coats with contrasting lapels where also embellished with rhinestones, in circular patterns, while the mainly earthy colour palette was contrasted with the least expected detail: silver and gold lamé. Non-chalance is the new norm for spring-summer 2020, that’s visible across countless of shows we’ve seen up to date. The fringed, knitted and highly crafted elements felt Loewe-ish, which is actually new to J.W. Anderson (the designer never mixes his codes between the two brands he designs at). Still, they work in this collection very well, even though they might not match at a first glance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Dream State. Loewe SS20

Jonathan Anderson continues his escapist formula at Loewe and it keeps on surprising. Spring-summer 2020 collection for men was like a picture of spiritual escape into what he called “a childlike dream state”. The outing felt like a peaceful march of modern day hippies, wearing the intentionally unmatching accessories, flowing, gender-fluid kaftan-dresses and fleecy, feather-light knits. Eclecticism and handmade crafts are one of the most important qualities Anderson nurtures at Loewe, and with his collage-y sensibility for styling, he makes it sophisticated, yet desirable at the same time. You want to dress in this spirit, all year round. “We have to be aware of what’s going on in the world, but sometimes it’s good to dream. Why should people not be in a fantasy state? Maybe they’ll find something.” Words to live by.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Men’s – Design Exercise. JW Anderson SS20

For his spring-summer 2020 collection for men (and resort 2020 for women), Jonathan Anderson took an approach he applies at his Loewe. While discussing J.W. Anderson‘s latest collection, the designer mentioned that it’s “not about a styling exercise, but a design exercise.” Part of it was working on cutting away the sleeves of trench coats and tailored jackets to construct geometric wings and leave a drape in the back. He said he’d developed that silhouette after the “ideas about the ’40s and billowing shapes” that he’d shown previously in his womenswear collection. The deconstruction of the tuxedo dressing continued into lapel scarves and dress shirts. There’s no gendered distinction in these clothes. “All sizes can wear that,” he said. Meanwhile, the less ‘formal’ part of the collection consisted of patchworked knits, cable-knit head-bands, shoes made of multi-coloured felt (depicting a sort of pointilist landscape) and flowing, crotchet shawls and dresses. All this feels very warm-hearted, artisanal,  beautifully folkloric even. While Anderson nails each season at Loewe, lately I wasn’t that convinced about the work he did for his namesake brand. But this collection is one of his best.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.