Men familiar with the scourge of belly-button lint might laugh out loud at the sight of Jonathan Anderson’s latest proposition at Loewe: a crewneck sweater with a hair-catching drain hole placed right where all that mysterious fluff collects.
Back on the runway at last during men’s fashion week, Anderson seems to be embarking on a new aesthetic chapter at the Spanish house, less hinged on craft and more, well, unhinged — a stream-of-consciousness exploration of what’s possible with fashion.
Echoing his terrific women’s outing last September, which was a great contemporary art fair for tickling the eyes and the brain, here were lively, sometimes experimental, clothes embedded with tricks of thought, humor or sly commentary.
Consider the white T-shirt, here with a mirror image of the model’s head and torso screen printed upside down on the front (wearable narcissism); there with a wired hem that juts out one side (wearable freeze-frame in the TikTok age of action).
Bodysuits and clinging tops embedded with fairy lights, or handsome coats with seams aglow, winked to our lives being constantly backlit with screens, the designer said during a preview, asking: “Is clothing going to have to compete more with the digital world?”
To be sure, the show was highly entertaining — and Instagrammable — as models paraded barefoot or in translucent rubber boots around a sandy set planted with flags of colorful ribbons.
There were many surreal touches, sometimes fittingly unwearable: sweaters with built-in gloves, each finger extended with streamers, or jeans with a handwritten word — Smile, or Hello — rendered in metal and jutting up from the front waistband. Anderson might, however, find a taker for his gentleman’s herringbone coat that looks as if the wearer sat in gold paint.
“Optics and optimism,” Anderson declared cheerfully. “It’s this idea of playing with fashion, that fashion can have scope if you want it to. You can take the mundane and reinvent it. That’s the joy of fashion.”