Around 99 red balloons went by – some trapped on the vamp of strappy sandals, some squashed into bulging heels, some done up as kinky little bras, and still others suspended in jersey draping on column dresses.
There were many other wackadoodle sightings at the Loewe fall show, including satiny minidresses with stiff hems in the shape of a toy car, tube dresses with a pair of women’s pumps trapped under a layer of mesh, and stirrup pants with funnel-like contraptions around the knees – possibly handy for trapping dropped house keys or ear buds.
Jonathan Anderson is hurtling full-throttle into a more arty, experimental and playful chapter at the Spanish house, a fact underscored by the offbeat chocolate brown box of a set punctuated by prize-winning pumpkins nearly the size of Fiat 500s. These were actually artworks by regular Loewe contributor Anthea Hamilton, the gourds entirely crafted in leather by the Spanish leather goods house.
While this show did not have the charm and optimism of Anderson’s first such outing – remember the red-rose and cracked egg heels for spring 2022, and those dresses fronted with funhouse mirrors? – it was still fascinating to watch; sometimes silly, often thought provoking, and occasionally quite chic.
“I wanted something primal,” Anderson told a post-show scrum, also mentioning the Industrial Revolution, which might explain the car dress and offbeat materials that included latex, felt and resin.
The designer opened his display with a series of cute minidresses in stiff leather molded as if they were rippled by wind. There were strange shearling pants with a waistband that opened up like another funnel; cave-woman shearling skirts paired with latex T-shirts, and knitted gowns with foam tubes arching under the chin like a cartoon rainbow.
Anderson said he liked the idea of ”pushing a silhouette toward something that can be nonsensical, things that can be irrational.”
He didn’t balk when a journalist threw out the surreal term, likening his collection to “Breakfast in Fur,” a sculpture of a fur-covered teacup, saucer and spoon by artist Méret Oppenheim from 1936.
“I feel like this is about unknowingness,” he said.
Not very soothing words for a luxury retailer or a Loewe store manager, though the brand will surely do gangbusters with the denim sneakers, mules with airplane seatbelt buckles, bubble-shaped leather bomber jackets and maybe even those balloon-heeled pumps – “just to prove the world was here, ”as the Nene song goes.