Jonathan Anderson presented Loewe’s spring 2023 Men’s show in Paris last week at Tennis Club de Paris against the minimal backdrop of a white slope divided by three concrete pillars.
Audiences were sat on bleachers, offering a 360 view of the show as models sauntered down the runway wearing pieces from the French brand’s latest offering, which included the show opening leather black coat, embellished with objects and tools from our daily routines. The model appeared wearing headphones, almost like a way of staying isolated from the distractions of the world around us. On the feet, a sensational fashion experiment: seeds were planted on canvas sneakers! The sneakers are covered in grass, the result of a collaboration with Spanish bio-designer Paula Ularqui Escalona to seed, water, and grow everything from Chia plants to cat’s wort on coats, footwear, and denim.
The Creative Director’s connection to nature is nothing new and the Eye/LOEWE/Nature collection is usually where it is expressed the most. For this collection, Anderson explores the limits of clothing in a hostile environment where nature organically takes over an active closet. Technology is here as a witness, of our times, and the so little power we have.
The Loewe man appears vulnerable and seems to find power in comfort. The soundtrack is a kind contextual reminder. We hear the sea, we hear the birds. We’re in total immersion, the Loewe man and nature become one.
Here, outerwear is explored through various creative ways and the iconic puzzle bag gets a monochromatic update as well as a massive hardware fix reminiscent of a fishing theme. As the collection unfolds, sports legging, and athletic wear are introduced. All pieces are heavily branded. Usually pushed aside when it comes to menswear, leggings, appear almost like a protective shield, a seconde peau.
In terms of color, the palette is obviously very nature-centric and knits are heavily textured reminiscent of the foam that grows on trees. A utopian fantasy that challenges fabrics and their limits. Knits are worn out and on the verge of textural decomposition— while nature resists to the most extreme conditions, textile has its weaknesses and limits. This season, Loewe offers a fashion experiment that goes beyond luxury.
Most fabrics are roughened up and outerwear is bleached, showcasing the vulnerability and limits of the artificial resources surrounding us. Shirts and trousers are heavily creased, reminiscent of the tree bark texture, a certain fashion that resists in time.
Towards the end of the collection, massive animated screens appear on coats inviting us to discover the deep sea and its fascinating creatures. Face masks are shaped for LCD screens and nature took over through futuristic technology. I like to think of it as a hidden message: nature isn’t made to order, we have to adapt to its scale and limitless developments.
This Loewe collection proved that indeed, there’s no better witnesses of our times than nature and immersive technology. The show is articulated around the explicit idea of awareness, freedom, and perspective, forcing us to introspect on our habits and surroundings.
As the show comes to an end, more commercial staples merge with a cozy take on outerwear that serves as a protective duvet. Last but not least, the usually conservative Loewe man appears in a wet two piece and underwear almost like he survived the most intense rain storm. I can confidently say this show was one of the most meaningful of the season, leaving us thinking of how we can collaborate better with the beauty around us.