The collection “bristles with a Brutalist hedonism,” according to the show notes.
Didn’t quite get that. (Or for that matter, what the heck Brutalist hedonism is in the first place.) But who cares? On Friday morning, Jonathan Anderson showed a powerful Loewe collection filled with clothes that hit that often-elusive trifecta: beautiful, interesting and real-women/real-life wearable.
In developing his Loewe, Anderson has turned to an exploration of craft and artisanal touches. For spring, he wielded his artful hand with ease and élan. “It’s this idea that is fine for things to look beautiful, you know?” he said postshow. “This idea that things are allowed to be free in that way.”
Anderson imagined his show space as Signals, a gallery that emerged in London as the kinetic art movement was taking off. He installed art that moves — Lara Favaretto’s tall, spinning car wash brushes, a group of record players spinning ceramics by Ryoji Koie, and a room with floating bubbles. On the stationery front, he also showed baskets by Loewe Craft Prize finalist Joe Hogan, which inspired some of the bags.
The clothes were developed around the concept of movement as well as some pretty intense textural mixes and exaggerated proportions. Blue satin pajamas under a feather vest and a T-shirt dress in palest yellow with extra-long, mismatched blue sleeves telegraphed sensuality in their covered-up conditions. There were tailored suits with contrasting lapels; abundant cabled sweaters tucked into pants, and many plays on triangular and ballooning volumes. A patchwork motif came in a dress worked from a pastiche of printed fabrics released into carwash flaps and a long, elegant suede jumper with black silk godets. Other dresses included a stretched-out varsity sweater and a pair of Juliet looks with smocked details, modernized in suede and leather.
With so much going on, the clothes could have turned fashion-eccentric, but they didn’t. Rather, from start to finish, this collection portrayed women as grounded and strong, confident and in control, both as individuals and together. After the madness that played out in Washington on Thursday, the timing was perfect.