Loewe: keeping craft cool and kinetic
All about making craftwork sensual at Loewe in another memorably staged show for the Madrid-based house by their creative director, Northern Irishman Jonathan Anderson.
Staged, as is his wont, inside UNESCO, the space divided up into a half dozen rooms. Notably, an early '60s-style art gallery in London, where people have a common thread… enjoying the idea of making things and experimenting with them, explained Anderson.
A kinetic collection, where nearly every look had shards, strings and fringes dangling; while feathers sprouted from ankles, wrists and shoulders. And, oddly for an Ulsterman, half a dozen feather combos done in the green, white and orange of the Irish tricolor. The cast walking by a substantial sculpture of two oversized car wash brushes spinning over metal plates by the Italian artist Lara Favaretto, a perfect example of kinetic art, which began in the '20s, and resurfaced in the '60s.
Each space was different, reflecting the lack of an exact common theme in the clothes. One room contained 35 Dansette record players, where a blond and buff Adonis in white sailor pants and no shirt strolled around changing albums like a DJ out of Blow Up. Every space included multiple versions of shell-shaped baskets, made of beech wood, bog pine and homegrown willow rods and formed into hand-crafted mollusks by Irishman Joe Hogan. By a Loewe Craft Prize finalist, they also helped inspire many of a really great new series of handbags.
Shell-shaped shoulder bags in snakeskin and beige cane; oversized straw totes with the raised leather Loewe logo or some enormous primary-hued crocket-shoulder sacks.
In effect, the collection was a multitude of attitudes. From billowing powder blue silk pajamas with a breastplate sprouting pastel plumage to Moorish dresses composed of huge stretches of raw suede or a remarkable horizontal striped patchwork asymmetrical dress. A textural mash-up at its best.
All anchored by a great series of boots wrapped in lassoes and buckles done in the earthy rough suede that Anderson has made Loewe’s cult material.
“Totems in a kinetic space. Craft is one of the DNAs of this brand. I do not think we should be antsy and go here and there. For me it is a leather house, where I worked really hard to get bags to the level they should be,” said Anderson backstage.
“Clothing with movement, blowing to one side, like someone running to a bus, or hit with a jolt of electricity. A celebration of being beautiful and sensual,” concluded the Northern Irishman, whose invitation was a washed-out image of the tomb of the most famous Irish exile to Paris, Oscar Wilde. Covered with red-lipped kisses.
Favaretto's art is regarded as a commentary on the cost and casualty of modern life; Anderson's fashion is all about exulting in it.
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