What is real today? Perfection is fabricated, imperfection is erased, illusion and displacement are the coordinates.
Determined to define an altered real world, the LOEWE collection proposes that nothing is as it seems and uses flashes of backlit glare to illuminate the assumption. Creative director Jonathan Anderson devises a vision that is straightforward, concise and tightly edited, devoid of immediate seasonal connotations and deliberately pushed into a temporal void of its own, where immediate signs and detectable references do not matter.
The body is the point of arrival and departure, nakedness reproduced in shrunken scale on trompe l’oeil pieces, the elementarity of underwear and base layers exposed as an external self. A new shrunken and frozen silhouette sits close to the torso and legs. Hoops and wires frame movement mid-action, like the body was frozen in performance. Nonsensical dresses protrude in trains, on the front, twisting the body. LEDs and lights illuminate coats, the waistline and the sides of trousers, and profile of shoes, like a glow coming directly from the body being projected outward.
Archetypes of men’s dressing are put under a twisted light. The boxers and briefs, the coat, the jean jacket, the shaggy fur, the mohair pullover, the mackintosh. Displacement brings things to another dimension: sinkholes frame the void onto the surface of coats and bags. A backlit shell is clutched randomly by a hand. Oiled leather coats are provocatively transparent. Kitschy briefs peek-a-boo under tops. Shearling linings push movement forward on coats.
Bags are capacious totes, the Cubi in nappa leather with sinkholes, a tall and rectangular Amazona. The Flamenco clutch is embellished with shells and reimagined as a soft pair of boots. LEDs illuminate rubber boots. Cherries are polished motifs on square-toed loafers.
Backlit into altered non-perfection, another kind of reality is drawn. A collection that defines a reset by putting the body first and speculating around it.
What is real today?
The collection is presented within Flags, Paris 2022, a site-specific installation by the artists Joe McShea & Edgar Mosa: eighty-seven 2.5x3.5m faceless flags made of nearly 4,000 individually-cut ribbons mounted on 6.5m long aluminum flagpoles and reacting to the movement of models and the audience.
The flags are stripped of meaning, acting as a call to reflection. They are made of thirteen colors chosen to represent the full visible spectrum, arranged randomly so as to make each flag unique.