For his runway debut at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson chose the UNESCO building in Paris’ tony 7th Arrondissement. UNESCO land marks and protects buildings and landscapes all over the world. Hence, Anderson instinctively linked his re-branding project at Loewe by aligning himself with legendary icons of culture. Even better, the building was designed by architects Marcel Breuer of the United States of America, Pier Luigi Nervi of Italy and Bernard Zehrfuss of France which themselves were selected by an International Committee of five: Lucio Costa, Walter Gropius, Charles Le Corbusier, Sven Markeliu and Ernesto Rogers. The list reads likes an architectural hall of fame and with its international mix Anderson was very clearly signaling that Loewe is no longer only a Spanish brand. Just like these architects came from all over the world, Anderson purposefully eschews clichés of Latin culture like flamenco and bull fighting from his work to give Loewe the global vision it had previously lacked. Moreover, the campaign with Steven Meisel, undoubtedly the world’s best fashion photographer added to this choice of location speaks volumes about the designer’s soaring ambition. Already, at first bat, Anderson blatantly wants to compete in the designer major leagues. And having convinced Bernard Arnault to attend the early morning show made abundantly clear the importance of this project to LVMH.
“We have been working on this for eight months, coming to UNESCO, thinking about how to use the space“ explained an elated Anderson backstage after the show. Of course, the clothes delivered as well, bringing his conceptual touch to smooth leather as in his opening look of a sand-colored suede dress decorated with rough-hewn patches proved. Anderson believes in an arts and crafts approach for Loewe so his mix of earthy textures and organic shapes looked right on. Bringing in a dozen high-waisted leather pants in all colors from yellow to red and blue, the show had the necessary tough appeal to balance the artsy. But we would prefer to focus on the exceptional staging effort in the Japanese Garden of UNESCO, designed by none other than Isamu Noguchi. Let’s not forget, Anderson is also opening a new shop in Tokyo so he really checked all the boxes.
“I love that the models were walking on different levels to create a unique perspective,” continued Anderson who sent his cast out from a downstairs office building via a zigzagging stairway for the audience to admire the collection from different angles. He had scores of concrete stools and benches especially made for the audience to sit on; and even placed black leather Loewe pillows on a sliced open tree trunk, a redwood gift of Canada. But again, all was done so thoughtfully that one had to guess what was here before and what was put in by Anderson. Given the artful skill of this brilliantly staged show, we will naturally keep a close eye on this brand with German origin and Anderson’s next moves at Achtung Mode.