Suzy Menkes Paris spring summer 2018 Loewe Rick Owens

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Loewe: Arts and Crafts

The idea was to play with the small and the big – big noise, small noise,” said Jonathan Anderson after a powerful, wearable and desirable collection for Loewe.

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Receiving enthusiastic responses from an audience that included Grace Coddington and Maria Grazia Chiuri from Dior, the designer attempted to define the spirit of his powerful summer 2018 collection.

“I wanted something bohemian, but with the idea of calmness – sensual daywear,” Anderson said.

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“There is a free-ness that I wanted in the clothing,” the designer continued. “This idea of repeating the silhouette so you would get it over again like circular motion. I wanted something grounded.”

Loewe spring/summer 2018

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The line drawn by this show was slender and ankle length. It could have seemed repetitive without the vibrant imagination of the mixed fabrics from the designer. From checkered jersey through pastel gingham checks to elongated dresses in white with a single angular frill, all roads in this collection led to cute Moroccan-inspired slippers with a curl at the toes.

Loewe spring/summer 2018

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And all shoulders or hands were made for bags – not just because they are the Loewe heartland, but because they complemented the fashion idea of intriguing shapes.

Loewe spring/summer 2018

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As if the exceptional display of feather light knitwear and fabric mixes in almost every imaginative outfit were not enough, Anderson played with the familiar idea of the ‘ad-on’ – say half of a man’s pin-stripe jacket growing at the hips under a plain black sweater.

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And the designer wanted so much more. Using his involvement in the art world with creative objects, he dressed the walls of the Paris UNESCO Headquarters with tapestries, some created from the images of photographer Steven Meisel. That bold woven and printed cloth faced off something infinitely small: abstract creatures placed just-so on a shelf as the models swung by.

Checkered patterns, gingham or even appliqués of playing cards, brought a whimsical feel of summer to the collection. Although the working side of life was equally available as a sleek tailored model jacket.

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The most impressive part of the collection was its constrained variety, a story told mainly by the changing materials folded into the singular shape.

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“It’s not done in a rush, you know we do this collection over five or six months, which is a lot of time,” explained Anderson. “We start with all those fabrics, like a patchwork here or develop something that we want to show in the season.

“If you don’t put the time in to craft, then what’s the difference that the consumer will find by touching?”

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The question from the designer was his answer. He built a collection from the bottom up by working on the fabrics. Put together, the result was cohesive, comprehensive – and very good indeed.

Rick Owens: In At The Deep End

With the exception of a deep green, the colour of oxidised metal, the Rick Owens show was almost entirely in white. Dresses puffed and draped into shapes that looked like the foam from a whipped up sea.

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But the watery feel was not confined to the clothes; half way though the show, that was held around a still basin, the water rose up into what the designer called ”experimental grace”.

Rick Owens spring/summer 2018

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As a recipient of this mighty shower, that even a hand-out Rick Owens’ rain poncho could not keep from my swiftly ruined suede boots, I was dubious about this latest artistic act – the designer has previously shown in the concrete bowels of the Palais de Tokyo. So I should have been pre-warned by the models’ white plastic sandals that were less likely to end in a watery grave.

Yet there was something beautiful and meaningful in this ode to water, particular at a time when southern Europe is in severe drought and parts of Asia have been submerged by nature’s wroth.

Rick Owens spring/summer 2018

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Many of the fabrics were canvas, some with a satin sheen. As so often with Owens, much of the collection looked like protective clothing. Padded across the body in uneven drapes, some pieces were even scissored into cross squares or lines that also seemed like protection.

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By the time the gushing water subsided, like a monster returning to its lair, the cut up holes, stuffed with pillows were reminiscent of Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. There was surely a message in these protective pieces coming between body and the outside world

I would have liked to ask Owens the story behind it and why the show ended with cackles of laughter. But my feet were just too squelchy wet.



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