NOTHING IS quite as it seems. A turning of “the straightforward into something not so straightforward.” A study on perspective; how different vantage points and camera angles can subvert and warp the way we see things. Like, for example, a pair of extremely high-waisted pants. They look less and more high, depending on whether you’re viewing the person wearing them from close up, through a wide-angle lens or extremely far away.
This was the concept Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson steeped his spring 2024 menswear collection in. But rather than having his audience view the collection from various heights and distances, Anderson and his team executed the trickery themselves. Tops, sweaters and blazers were worn close to the chest or cropped, while pants were buckled so high they made the models’ belly buttons seem low. The silhouette dominated the collection — collection defining silhouettes have been a real thing this season — but in a stroke of genius, no look felt too similar to the last.
In a sense, this spring collection was an elevated extrapolation of ‘jeans and a nice top’. And while the pants were covetable (women will be clamouring to buy them), the tops were really quite compelling. A couple were fashioned out of shapely jacquard fabric, like giant fabric swatches complete with a giant pin. Completely backless, they were fastened to models’ shoulders reverse backpack style. Will they be worn by regular customers IRL? Probably not. But we can’t wait to see them on the red carpet.
Elsewhere, the collection felt remarkably wearable. Knitted quarter-zip sweaters, polo shirts, “bankers shirts” (a playful moniker for the button-up ones) and chinos were uncharacteristically normcore. Sweaters and jeans showered with crystals swayed in the aesthetic direction of Y2K. But it was the uncanny proportion of these pieces that made them so quintessentially Loewe. As per the show notes, “such apparent plainness deceives the eye, but it is twisted and turned”.
This season, Jonathan Anderson engaged American artist Lynda Benglis to bring his show set to life. Her organic forms embody the movements of fluid substances as they trickle, gush and flow. For the Loewe show, three of her fountain sculptures were arranged together for the first time ever. Their presence on the runway was magical; their Wabi-Sabi forms also served to highlight the conscientious structure of many of the garments on show.
To the naked eye, this collection appeared full of commercial hits — the knitwear was crowd-pleasing, the accessories were fun yet wearable and the long wool coats were sublime. But the longer you spend looking at them, the more you begin to realise the clever craftsmanship and idiosyncratic details at play. A very alluring collection — no matter which way you look at it.
See more of Esquire Australia’s style coverage here.