“How do you get conflict in the clothes?” Jonathan Anderson mused during a preview of his spring collection for Loewe, his third for the LVMH-owned brand. “There needs to be tension in garments to make them feel more real, less precious.”
A quick study if ever there was one, the young designer is shaping a vivid new template for the luxury house: immediate, eclectic — and electric. His open-air show at UNESCO on Friday morning, guests seated on shrink-wrapped concrete stools, was as thrilling as the weather was chilling — full of invention applied to wearable clothes.
Well, mostly wearable. Mr. Cellophane opened his show with a series of see-through pants, teamed with handsome cable-knit sweaters with sheer shoulders or a clinging T-shirt printed with Canada geese. While impractical, these trousers heightened the futuristic gloss that Anderson juxtaposed against more traditional signposts of luxury such as suede and leather, specialties of the Madrid-based house.
The unexpected combinations created not only tension, but runway fireworks: silver tinsel spilling from one hip and one arm of a sinuous black wool dress; metallic snaps coiling around linen tops and trousers; and grainy, black-and-white photos of cotton plants printed on a Tyvek paper sweatshirt and pants.
To Anderson, the artificial (heat-sealed PVC Puzzle bags), brash branding (head-to-toe logos, an emerging trend in Paris) and haute craft (a tawny leather column dress, into which a strand of grass was heat pressed, leaving a ghostly impression) are all ingredients for exciting fashion.
As with his signature collection in London, Anderson made a strong case for outfit dressing. His boxy, jeans-style jackets with quirky buttons — a stalk of bamboo, a crystal shard, a piercing — looked like cool office wear for the 21st century. Loose, A-line safari jackets and unmatched wide pants came a close second; side-buttoning tunics over wide pants in third: All great options that could leave a woman happily conflicted.