“Sharpening, stripping down, thinking forward. A focus on line, color, shape: the reality of clothing, in tension, with precision. The same erotic tension and precision of an anthurium flower: a product of nature that looks like an object of design, and treated as such.”
Kitsch and glamour don’t often go hand in hand, but something about Jonathan Anderson’s ability to merge both so effortlessly at Loewe creates a sense of awe.
Loewe’s incorporation of the natural vs. manmade truly shocked its audience at the house’s latest show during Paris Fashion Week. Harmoniously combining and juxtaposing the literal botanical theme of the flower alongside a manmade essence, the designs created a certain appreciation to the female silhouette through a simultaneously rigid and fluid feel.
As a giant fiberglass anthurium flower took center stage at Loewe’s Spring/Summer 2023 collection, standing in contrast with the structured lines of the set, models appeared in beautifully elegant curated looks, starting with a single anthurium, its story told through the female body. The flower’s glossy and reflective nature was contrasted with matte colors and bold silhouettes to amplify its presence, creating a feeling of happiness and abundance throughout the collection. As with this unique flower, that lives only through the presence of light, Anderson creates a marriage between fabrics that absorb light with floral enamels and leather accessories that reflect it, mimicking the flower’s fundamental need for sunlight.
As the collection flows, the flower’s story changes, from a literal representation of the flower and its stem, through the wilting and closing up of the bud itself to the construction of the outfits. Simple in form, yet equally stunning in shape and volume, the pieces hug the female body, mirroring the stem; elegant and tall in stature. As Anderson describes it, his collection represents “a blunt design statement, amplified through the act of reduction.”
Shift from the element
The show doesn’t end there, an unpredictable shock of digitally pixellated tops and balloon heels are introduced. A surprising shift from the element of nature into one that screams manmade, forming a surprisingly beautiful union. Anderson however, played with these artificial aesthetics in a way that still culminates with mother nature. Constructing the manmade elements, such as deflated balloons in the heels, into the shape of flower buds, forming a point where both extremes meet.
Reinforcing the idea that every element has come together in pure harmony, the accessories have been curated to represent the feminine and the flower. The elongated, streamlined Paseo Bag has a floral feel in the way it’s structured, like the anthurium flower as it opens up its petals, playing with size, volume and movement. When opening the bag, it mirrors the growth of the flower, expanding its petals and clinging on to its long and elegant stem, just as the base of the bag holds on to its elongated straps.
Nothing has been left unconsidered, from start to finish the story is told and there unfolds the existence of mother nature among the manmade and the human. Just like the anthurium flower that attracts all living creatures around it, has the Loewe show turned us all into creatures of nature, absorbing its beauty, fluidity and divine femininity?