#SuzyPFW The Art Of Craft At Loewe

For a luxury brand whose roots are in accessories, fashion (meaning clothing) presents a struggle.

But for the spring/summer 2019 Paris season, Jonathan Anderson hit the sweet spot at Loewe. And the designer did it with a subtle mix of the brand’s Spanish heritage and his own Irish origins.

The show had fewer arty references and objects than previously. From where I sat, the backdrop was two car wash spinning brushes in fancy colours.

“I worked with this Italian artist Lara Favaretto who does spinning brushes,” the designer explained.

But these art additions and others, like record players on the floor, were not intrusive. And instead of the Stygian gloom of a year ago, the sun streamed through the windows of the Paris UNESCO building.

This could have been viewed simply as a cue to the beach, for the Loewe bags of the moment had a focus on woven straw or thin strips of leather fringing. Add this season’s favourite colour – sunset orange – and the material of the moment – feathers.

Orange and green fluff appeared at the bust line or on pockets. While the rest was less fluffy and feminine. Country tailoring – say beige coat and trousers – was teamed with apparently simple woven straw bags.

The Loewe story was about contemporary craft and especially Joe Hogan, an Irish artist whose baskets are likely to contain pieces of driftwood.

“We’ve been with craft for a bit and I feel it’s really compelling – part of the DNA of the brand,” said Jonathan Anderson.

“And we wanted to have a common thread about enjoying the idea of making things and of experimenting. And when you experiment… where can it go?”

The answer was a pared-down elegance and easiness, stitched into a long white dress with raw seams and hemlines; a simple cotton dress with patches of smocking; or a more sophisticated dress shimmering in satin like a blue sky rippling in the wind.

Nothing is tougher than making the complex seem easy. But all the clothes – and of course the bags – were as streamlined and wearable as they were complex in construction.