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.