It took a good, solid 20 minutes to queue up and meet Jonathan, a.k.a J.W.Anderson, the creative director of Spanish luxury brand Loewe. The event took place after working time on a Thursday evening and, knowing that it will be packed, I arrived early. After fighting my way through the sea of press and cameras, I said a quick hi to Jonathan and was slightly saddened by the fact there wasn't enough time to digest the inspiration of the collection first hand from the designer himself, but was quickly introduced to a representative. The whole event was buzzing and defined Jonathan's success after his recent appointment as Creative Director back in October 2013. The most recent AW collection that was showed in March this year in Paris was even available for pre-order until the end of April at Joyce (its official release is in Summer). So let's talk Loewe.
Celebrating its 170 years next year in 2016, the luxury house's direction is firm ahead, developing the lifestyle brand with its ready-to-wear collection, leather goods and collaborations with artists - most recently with British textile artist John Allen.
For women, AW15 was all about sci-fi. Realistic Futurism. A grey and red dress from the runway sat proudly on the front of a rack and was also displayed on the mannequin. The whole idea of the collection is so that people can take a piece, switch it up and to be able to wear a piece in many ways - keeping it simple or styled with a pair of black flared trousers and belted with an oversized patterned green belt. It's your take. Clothing on runway shows are often extravagant and sometimes not wearable; Anderson wanted avant-garde pieces that are wearable on daily life and a lot of pieces can, indeed, be broken down. Part of his rebranding of Loewe is all about making the brand go beyond the insiders at runway shows and actually appeal to a larger crowd. Some even say Loewe has become younger.
For men, it was all about versatility. Pieces like a light brown leather shearling jacket and a wool coat were featured from the AW collection. The classic Loewe shopper bag with the updated logo made a return in wool. The logo is a highlight - where part of Anderson's rebranding, he took out the year and added swirls, making it less formal. Rebranding seems to be a trend nowadays (read up on the whole deal on Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris). For Loewe, the logo is not the only step towards minimalism because the clothing translates that, too. A pair of logo-embrossed espadrilles is always in the collection because Anderson previously stated he 'could not even imagine a Spanish cultural landscape without espadrilles'. Anderson looks ahead. He understands that (a lot of) men don't actually buy a new wardrobe every season. Instead, we like to take our time to think and pick out pieces, here and there, to add to our collection/wardrobe.
The Spanish embrace Loewe because of its Spanish legacy born in the heart of Madrid since 1846. Bags such as the Amazona and Flamenco are Loewe classics. The Puzzle, acclaimed by Vogue to be the new 'It' bag of 2015, can be toyed around into different wears by folding into various shapes. Anderson understood the importance of branding and usage; and now collections and pieces are inspired by this idea of interacting more with the consumer. The image of Loewe has been refreshed and Loewe fans, both old and new, should be excited for this new direction and what's to come in future collections.
To be continued…#tbc