Loewe: Latex love
Contrasts and contradictions; incongruities and juxtapositions in a brilliant show and riveting collection for the house of Loewe by Jonathan Anderson, presented Friday morning, the mid-point of Paris Fashion Week.
A collection of eras, ideas and above all materials - like latex, shearling and 3D printing clashed and coalesced. Where the show invitation was an 80-square-centimeter latex square, which some editors even wore as scarves into the show.
Staged in a sprawling indoor tennis club, revamped as an all-brown box, “like peat, like digging in one of Seamus Heaney’s poems,” explained the Anderson of his fellow Northern Irishman, the Nobel Prize winning poet.
“I wanted the idea of the industrial revolution – two things meeting, for I see this is as a strip backed collection,” added Jonathan.
He opened with a series of artily elegant leather dresses made from wetting the calfskin and sculpting it around the torso. A great opening series, complimented by the footwear, which looked more like handbags than shoes. His dresses gradually turned into auto-shaped frocks, quirky conceptual fashion at its best, all the way to the tinted latex tops and soft, cuddly shearling bags.
For cocktail hour Anderson went into overdrive with pinto-hued columns finished with mini cups and baubles. As Jonathan’s Marie Antoinette champagne glass shaped cups used as bras and protrusions from body-con cocktails.
“Pushing a silhouette to where it is something that is nonsensical and irrational. Pushing things together so they become pleasingly disturbing,” explained Anderson.
Gradually adding techy elements to the show, like 3D prints, juxtaposed to the set, where stood three truck-sized pumpkins by Anthea Hamilton, the Turner Prize-shortlisted artist. With whom Loewe has collaborated, the Spanish label providing the leather with which she made her uber vegetables.
“I am obsessed with how a balloon creates tension as it can pop, and never lasts forever. An aerodynamic shape with a pressure pot. Something trapped underneath,” opined the designer, in a visual comment on our bizarre times. Before adding: “Looking at tension and where we are sexually in these days.”
Draping and construction that echoed shapes from American sculptor Lynda Benglis, famed for her latex sculptures, and Merit Oppenheimer, noted for her idea of a fur cup.
Though the overriding memory of this collection will be the aerodynamic shoes and the latex dresses, one finished with two long gloved arms; or a pink latex cocktail with red bee-stung lip bustier top. Outlandish, yet glorious.
“For me, there is something about latex, either you reject it or you sensationalize it. A controversial fabric used for health service and also sexually. Latex is so pure, yet the way you build a latex garment is incredibly technical,” insisted Anderson, as over 30 editors strained to record his words on their mobile phones.
Since Karl Lagerfeld’s parting, no designer attracts a larger media audience after a show. Anderson’s is the single most fertile imagination in Paris fashion today.
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