Reflected on black herringbone parquet, a collection of miniature oval-shaped portraits is hung upon white walls inside the Maison de l’UNESCO for the Fall Winter 2019-20 LOEWE Women’s show by Jonathan Anderson. Dating from the 16th or 17th century and encompassing paintings of English, Flemish, French, Italian and Spanish provenance, these Post-Restoration works represent ladies and gentlemen (both famous and forgotten) from Mary Queen of Scots to King Charles I. Musing on analogue forms of communication in the digital present, each painstaking facsimile invokes the marriage of form and function at an inherently personal scale.
Born from obsessions of scrutiny and perfection, the collection approaches significations of desire with laser focus. Foregoing excess narrative, a singular conversation dictates the interaction between craft and silhouette. Through fragments of iconography, a precise classicism throws the new curve of garments into sharp relief. Pigment shades of saffron, cerulean and vermillion break the uniformity of black, olive, navy, camel, ivory and wine.
Provoking dense layers of opacity, smooth leather, satin and sartorial fabrics intersect in striped or checkerboard kimono coats, as pin-tucked organza and organdie is fused with ribbed knitwear. Hammered two-tone silk separates are plaited or bias cut, complimenting the 360° construction of tailoring with slotted lapels and sloped pockets, inflated jeans, and bell sleeve jackets. Inspired by midcentury Coret millinery, winged satin skullcaps are joined by artisanal feats and paradoxical textures, from knitted marabou scarves to pearl armour, silver tinsel and rick rack broderie anglaise. Each new gesture flies in the face of the season’s rigorous polish, grounded on beechwood pedestal Chelsea boots and tooled point moccasins.
The LOEWE accessories collection introduces the new Lantern opera bag in crocodile and calfskin, featuring an internal light and mirror construction in tribute to the 1950’s ‘Straeter Lite-On’. Scaled up and down, the Lazo handbag in shiny box calf appears in a new mini shape, whilst the Puzzle and Gate bags return in striped leather.