J.W. Anderson is always on the run trying to find new ways to excite, amuse, surprise and catch people's attention. What he creates looks like pieces of art, but they are not. Fashion has nothing to do with art. However, saying that it's only about consumerism could sound like a provocation. Thus, the Loewe Menswear Autumn Winter 2016 collection is presented in a setting looking like one of the Spanish Luxury brand boutiques. Clothes are hanging on rails, the bags and shoes are arranged meticulously and everything is at its right place, everything emerging in mushroom-shaped sculptures and modular elements of morphing designed in collaboration with M/M Paris. "We wanted something that was as if you were going into a cave, like an outer body experience", said J.W. Anderson. The designer wants to drag people somewhere else as if they were going to an art gallery or a museum. Discovering this new menswear collection is taking the form of an experience. That's one among the numerous thoughtful moves of Loewe's creative director. The visitor will definitely step into an unique universe: "an unspecified all-enveloping mindscape". It's hard to resist not touching, trying, inquiring and even (and above all) pre-ordering.
Exaggerated, relaxed and oddly enough mushrooms are the inspiration behind this collection. According to J.W. Anderson: if this collection were a song, it would be Jammin' by Bob Marley. The collection focuses on natural-autumn colors of caramel, tobacco, cream, khaki mixing with vivid pink, denim blue and sharp black. It's a wardrobe of excess, of kitsch, of oddness, of extravagance & provocation. Garments and accessories are created in extra-big proportions (compared to their regular sizes). A dramatic multi-color wool two layer roll neck tunic with tiger print on the back is definitely eye-catching just like this giant tobacco shearling blanket that can wrap two or three people. I could also quote tell you about this slouchy leopard print nutria long beanie reminding me of the Junior Woodchuncks (here, of course, it's an extreme version of it). XL backpacks and XL puzzle bags are adorned with a "tacky sunrise print. I don't know what's happening in the mind of J.W. Anderson when he is creating but it must be long hours of fun considering these eccentric and gargantuan shapes. Along these larger than life pieces, the collection also features casual and formal silhouettes against an abstract and ostensibly natural world. Utility wear and pajama uniforms are emerging from the big exposure garments shot for the lookbook in Cuenca, Spain by Jamie Hawkesworth. Loewe's material expertise can be felt in pure denim looks made from a canvas fabric woven from scratch. Staples from the Loewe's wardrobe are revisited in new versions: there are linen long shirts, cotton pleated trousers, long length bombers, trench-coats and hand painted leather jackets. J.W. Anderson has succeeded in creating a recognizable look for Loewe after only two seasons. The Loewe man is out there, in the streets and for next winter he will wear a wardrobe larger than life itself!
|Pictures by Jamie Hawkesworth , from the AW16 Loewe Lookbook|
Words by Yann Sackville-West