A visit to the Loewe St. Sulpice showroom was as much exciting as the urge to unwrap the Christmas (now that there is only a week and a half until the end of 2015). The visit dates back to June this year, but nevertheless, is just as (if anything, it’s more) exciting since it will be in stores in no more than a month. Delay aside, let’s get to it.
Though the general direction of Anderson may seem apparent: boxy cuts, versatility, lengthy silhouettes, and SS16 only proved the brand to be unpredictable.
‘The minute your brand can be predicted, you’ve got a problem’ - JW Anderson
In my excitement to discover and understand where Loewe is heading for menswear, the previous AW15 left pretty decent clues: brooches, crafty small leather goods and clutch bags. These accessories have become the new staples of the brand and there’s a lot of it in the SS16 collection.
Colourful and eclectic. Colour is not foreign to the brand, though the ways in which it is utilised in this collection was simply striking; after climbing a spiral of stairs, we are introduced by the backs of two models. Both were wearing different version of the ’galaxy sweaters’, covered in prints with spaceships, sci-fi motifs and Japanese characters. It was apparent then where the collection was going; Jonathan was inspired by his trip to Asia, particularly in Japan where he bought a magna comic book and was swiftly encapsulated by the visuals, pop movement and the energy from the cartoons. Magna itself is extremely powerful: through its ability to transcribe strong visuals to quick emotions of action, mystery and fantasy. I’m not going to go into much further detail but the fact that people of all ages subscribe to such a medium clearly shows its ability to influence; not only in Japan as over the past two decades, it has managed to reach out to an international audience. Even if you’re reading comics of a foreign language, you will still perceive the general gist of the story. It’s a universal language.
Sci-fi is eclectic. Not everyone goes down well with the idea of reading comics (I find it often that it comes with a shrug or a snicker), let alone the idea of dressing up as Chewbacca at Comic-Con. And it’s further more eclectic when combined with the shapes of Anderson’s interpretation of Loewe: lengthy silhouettes became elongated into a 2-piece garment, with cut-outs at the forearms and wide trousers.
Every functional piece is covered in space-travel-inspired motifs from planets to galaxy patches. My favourite however, if I can pick, is the display of 3 puzzle bags that came before a four-part 17th-century wooden door where I was told that it was imported from Japan to bring together the aesthetic of the collection. Now to the bags: puzzle bags need no introduction as it has become Loewe’s latest icon. For this season, the shape is retained but is composed of 12 different fragments; some with galaxy motifs, others with purple crocodile leather. As for simpler minds, the Hammock bag is a great alternative from the Loewe Anton backpack.
From a visual point of view, the selection of colours has been extremely vivid and works well with Anderson’s sci-fi vision (continuing on from his Loewe FW15 women’s collection). Anderson is no stranger to sci-fi, as in his own line. Loewe is merely another platform he is able to share his imagination and talent. On this note, congratulations Mr. Menswear Designer of the Year.
To be continued... #tbc