IN the lead up to his debut womenswear collection for Loewe, JW Anderson – the London fashion wunderkind – had talked a lot about modernising the heritage brand, from which he took over the helm from Stuart Vevers last September in a deal which saw LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy: the luxury conglomerate that owns Loewe) also buy a minority stake in Anderson’s own eponymous label.
He started with the logo, revamped the packaging, showed a great first menswear collection back in June (which in fact called to mind more of his earlier JW days) and today it was the big one.
“The idea was to configure codes. I’ve only been here a year. I started off wanting to make it light. When I went to Spain I felt linen and cotton were fundamental,” elaborated the designer backstage as he received his very lengthy queue of admirers and a scrum of eager journalists. This boy has charisma.
But we knew that already from his own brand – it was due to popular demand that he’d had to launch his womenswear, so covetable and successful was the menswear. That’s the Midas touch – which he put to work again here for a very clever and lovely collection that achieved exactly as it had set out to do, and which has no doubt left fans pining over paradise print latex T-shirts, collaged columns and puzzle-esque bags that fold up nicely.
“I wanted to move it away from the cliche. I didn’t see a rigid evening structure in a Spanish woman. Linen and cotton with leather felt modern, it felt real,” continued Anderson – hitting the nail exactly on the head.
In the past, Loewe had been luxe of course but the realm of eveningwear-centric and dark wares felt at times intangible. Anderson was doing an about-turn on all of this.
“I wanted it to feel uplifting, like a dreamscape,” said Anderson. And this is where those light fabrications in loose and easy shapes, rendered with artisanal affixations, stepped in.
Waists on long skirts were gathered and bunched, halter knits splayed at the back and somehow navigated back into a dress; patches hung like leaves from tops and dresses and wide-leg sash-belted trousers pulled in the signature house leather. There was a simplicity and an earthly quality to be found – discovered, in fact. Pirate blousons were airy and light, just as Anderson had said.
The legions of fans backstage were a microcosmic testament to what no doubt will play out in the real world (of course, that’s the next step). That’s where Anderson’s Loewe head is at after all. And if there’s anyone who knows how to garner a cult following, it’s J Dubs.

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