Loewe’s creative director Jonathan Anderson has always been a fan of pushing the envelope. For his Spring Summer 2022 collection, debuted overnight at Paris Fashion Week, the British designer and passionate art lover looked, once again, to the art world, taking inspiration from 16th-century painter Pontormo to create pieces that redefine the meaning of a sculptural silhouette.
Staged in the historic equestrian arena of La Garde Républicaine in Paris, models entered the centre of the wood-floored runway from steps underneath the stage. The opening look, which set the tone for the collection, was a floor-length sleeveless black dress that protruded from the front of the model’s body, as if being pulled by an invisible string.
What followed was a number of experimental pieces, including jackets and dresses featuring metallic breastplates in gold and silver, and crop tops with wing-like capes. Though Loewe and Anderson’s eponymous label, JW Anderson, have, in recent years, become undoubtedly trendy, Anderson has always wanted to keep both brands out of the hype. He’s said numerous times he doesn’t believe in trends and continues to try to work without the influence of them—which only goes to making both brands under his creative direction even trendier by proxy. But despite his best efforts, you can see cut-outs—a runway favourite this season—edging their way into Loewe’s realm, albeit showing knees instead of waists and torsos through clear pink resin.
As Anderson explained in the show notes, in contrast to the masters of the High Renaissance, Pontormo’s Mannerist style emphasised exaggeration and asymmetry over that of balance and proportion. This inspired Anderson’s “notions of draping, sculpting and colour by way of torsions, diversions and distortions.”
The spectacle didn’t stop at the clothes: models hair was dyed shades of pink, green and blue and on their feet they wore sandals with heels shaped like bottles of nail polish, eggs, bars of soaps, and roses. Others—lucky to be spared having to walk on literal eggshells—wore the house’s signature Flow runners, bar one model who was given the gift of slouchy purple teddy bear boots to walk in.
Whether Anderson likes it or not, we—and the rest of the fashion world—are eating out of the palm of his hands. Or, in this case, the eggshells on his model’s feet.