The last year has seen Jonathan Anderson totally surrender to surrealism. Despite his gentle demeanour, you could call the designer fashion’s mad scientist – having, in recent collections, transformed models into cars and proposed garments as living organisms. “People buy brands for a name, so [fashion] shows should be used as a laboratory,” he said following his latest Loewe menswear show Saturday morning.
It might come as a surprise, then, to hear that Anderson has pulled back on the bonkers with a collection he dubbed “A reductionist act”. In a stark white cube – featuring two, intimate artworks of brand muse Nikos by Julien Nguyen – he focused on defined silhouettes. Devoid of any print and blunt in its colour palette, the collection wowed in its use of unexpected materials once “used by, or depicted by” Old Master painters. Whether it was jackets fashioned from hammered copper, or contoured, parchment shirts which came frozen in time – as if “thrown into -40 degrees”.
Each look often focused on a singular garment. Standout, swollen overcoats which had to be stepped into walked alongside silky boxer shorts, bulbous suede coats and undergarment-style tops, unbuttoned at the back, which were worn with spiked angel wings – Anderson’s own Renaissance protagonists. The whole thing was quietly sensual and challenged how we see and respond to clothing in an utterly genius way, devoid of gimmicks. “I hope we’re entering a period where we are uncomfortable with design,” said Anderson, “in order to find something completely new.”
Photography courtesy of Loewe.