It's been nearly a decade since Jonathan Anderson took over Loewe, then a sleepy, century-and-a-half-old Spanish house known for its leatherwork. He hasn't been in a rush, steadily, yet ambitiously transforming the house into an innovative "It" brand that offers trusted silhouettes and buzzy trend plays in equal measure. He's turned Loewe into one of the hottest tickets at Paris Fashion Week, staging elegant, often intimate runway shows that leave attendees gushing. (For LVMH, the proof is in the calfskin pudding: Since Anderson took over, Loewe's annual revenues have increased fivefold, according to The Cut.)
Despite its both creative and commercial success, Loewe hasn't toed too far outside its comfort zone. The closest, perhaps, came in the form of a selection of glided torso appendages at its Spring 2022 show — a shot of surrealism, followed by the same minimal, calm silhouettes for which Loewe has garnered its recent acclaim. On Friday in Paris, the brand took its biggest risk yet, showcasing a collection of smart, humorous looks that served up Anderson's signatures, with a roaring twist.
Spring 2023 demonstrates three distinct trains of thought that were, perhaps, floating around in the atelier at the time of development. There are the swingy, pleated mini dresses, perhaps offering LVMH's own riff on Miu Miu's own ubiquitous micro skirt, capped off with tennis-ready collars in a range of fabrications and shades. There are the brilliantly pixelated looks, like an oversized tee and hoodie sure to become the new street-style must have. And there are, of course, anthurium plants — and lots of them — decking out delicate bodices here and there. In between come the gracefully utilitarian goods Loewe does best, like a series of structural yet billowing gowns, an effective case study of juxtaposition on the runway.
The collection isn't exactly cohesive, at least on paper, but with a range this fun and this clearly well-articulated, who cares? I can bet you LVMH doesn't, and neither do the range of celebrities — like Emma Chamberlain, Jennifer Coolidge, Charli XCX, Hal Baddie and Maude Apatow — who came out to see and be seen in the front row. (Recent Luca Guadagnino muse Taylor Russell, meanwhile, opened the show.) After all, it's going to sell no matter what.
See Loewe's Spring 2023 runway show in more detail, below.