A luminous cotton sculpture by the German artist Franz Erhard Walther occupies the LOEWE show space inside Maison de l’UNESCO, as the focal point of the first-ever men’s LOEWE runway show by Creative Director Jonathan Anderson. Entitled Gelbe Modellierung (1985), the sliced and segmented canvas ‘wall formation’ work stems from the artist’s performative practice, encouraging the viewer to interact with its wardrobing elements: in this case, two jackets and two trouser legs joined to its compartmentalised yellow surface.
In conversation with the Fall Winter 2019-20 Men’s collection, the work suggests hybrid abstraction at a human scale, where both a garment’s utility and its connotation are called into question. By re-thinking fabrication and scale, LOEWE craftmanship materialises in unexpected ways – uniting incongruous ideals of masculinity where the worlds of sartorial tradition and team sports collide. Inshearling and camel cashmere, outerwear pieces elevate the everyday.
Trompel’oeil arrives in tufted shearling and stamped croc, culminating in plush pastel leather quilting or a greatcoat fashioned from fringed cashmere scarves. Above unzipped calfskin waders, distended jerseys and tunics recall trail blankets and rugby stripes. Long knits collect relics: beads like pebbles, and naïve life drawings, whilst bound thread work cardigans evoke raw process. Like Walther’s peeling forms, hyper-extended shirt sleeves peek from beneath the new LOEWE tuxedo – a nipped 2-button suit with asymmetric lapels.
The signature Puzzle bag appears in burnished hand-braided leather, and thegiant Gate saddlebag is unveiled formen. #LOEWE #LOEWEFW19
An independent view of luxury incites the Berluti collection for Autumn-Winter 2019. Confronted with the absence of historic ready-to-wear archives, artistic director Kris Van Assche approaches his first collection for the maison motivated by a sense of freedom. The lack of preordained rules and codes informs a contemporary wardrobe rooted in the privilege of choice. Presented in the gilded halls of the Opéra Garnier, where classical and experimental arts are staged under one roof, it proposes an adventurous attitude to luxury in which the rough and the noble co-exist.
The collection serves as a meta take on Berluti itself: patina, the signature colouration of the maison’s classic leather shoes is illuminated in new light. Captivated by the old marble tables at which craftsmen hand-dye the patina of shoes in Berluti’s manifattura in Ferrara, Kris Van Assche paints his collection in the multi-hued stains of their surfaces. A wealth of reds, yellows, blues and greens saturates garments in rich colour, no two the same. The dye-splattered marble is further interpreted in print on silk shirts and nylon bags structured in exotic leather.
Interpreted in tailoring, the impression of patina is evoked in calfskin and jacquard suiting, expanding the artisanal core of Berluti into a broader identity. The silhouette is defined, the shoulder stated but never too controlled. It paves the way for an exuberant approach to dress where formal tailoring feature side-by-side with trousers native to motocross. The idea of recalling one material through another further materialises in a purple leather coat stained in the image of patina, a grey shearling coat reminiscent of astrakhan, or a sweater knitted from a thousand metres of multi-coloured leather strings, which reads like yarn.
The maison’s emblematic patina shoes hand-crafted from one piece of leather – the Alessandro, after its founder, and the Andy, after Warhol – are reimagined with sculptural caps recalling the faces of diamonds. The construction amplifies the shine synonymous with the maison, a facet accentuated in another new take on the Alessandro adorned with angular metal plates. The silhouette is transferred to a white trainer executed with the same artisanal principles. A nod to Berluti’s heritage, shoehorn pendants and miniature shoetree key rings adorn the collection.
Feeling the Wind
Today’s lifestyle is getting more minimal and light, freeing us from all constraint, allowing us to feel the wind. ISSEY MIYAKE MEN pays homage to this sensation of freedom and energy the wind provides. Multi-methods of dyeing and weaving, craftsmanship combined with technology bring warm but airy clothes for agile wearers.