Jonathan Anderson’s latest menswear collection for LOEWE was all about the idea of summer and everything that entails—freedom, optimism, movement, colour and light. With lockdowns lifting and vaccinations rolling out, the designer envisioned these pieces as clothes in which to hit the clubs once nightlife makes a comeback. Fluidity was a key concept here—in terms of both how the clothes move, and in the way they were freed of gender conventions.

Anderson’s starting point was the characters in the colour-saturated works of contemporary painter, Florian Krewer, who often portrays conflict and desire consummated in urban public spaces and whose depiction of masculinity is often tinged with a certain viscerality—innocence, violence, tenderness, ecstasy or sexuality. To accompany the release of the collection, LOEWE released a book of Krewer’s paintings, drawings and photographs. A second book of David Sims’ photographs is also included—Sims being an artist whom Anderson admires for the way he captures both the male form and vulnerability in masculinity.

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This idea of youth, fluidity and vulnerability was translated by Anderson into gauzy, sweetly coloured knits as well as ones exaggeratedly oversized, as though the boys in them have yet to grow into their clothes. Elsewhere, there were loosely draped silk dresses—evoking children playing in their parent’s closets, trying on and discarding identities as they go. To counterpoint the softness,  there was hardness in the form of beaten metal moulded to look like armour.

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The other main contrast Anderson played up in the collection was that between simplicity and flamboyance. In the latter camp: nostalgic ribbed cotton pieces and beachgoer-prints that spoke very directly of a summer mood. On the flamboyant side were pieces that took their cues from festive tinsel and disco balls, and rope trousers that were just begging to be taken for a spin on the dancefloor. Riffing on the concept of light, Anderson also showed solarised prints and layered multiple neon knits to illuminate the idea of backlighting.

On the accessories front, standouts include the iconic Puzzle bag—here softened into a hobo shape and transformed into a bumbag, as well as the whimsical Elephant design, reinterpreted as a woven basket bag adorned with glittering fringe. The House also made a step forward in its sustainability efforts, utilising cactus leather for the first time ever. Anderson noted its ability to absorb colour and one of its most notable uses here was for a paper thin parka in deep, rich oxblood. Anderson called the collection a “hedonistic release”, and frankly, it couldn’t come at a better time.

This article was originally published in Harpers Bazaar.

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