When in Japan
Spanish leather meets manga robots from Japan at Loewe.
WHEN IN ROME, DO AS THE ROMANS DO. So goes the advice about adapting yourself to the customs of the place you are visiting. In other words, live like a local or, better yet, go native. But in an age when borders have disappeared, great distances can be conquered with a tap of the screen, and the proverbial Roman can be your next- door neighbor, who’s to say what’s local anymore?
Does it mean that a Spanish luxury house, helmed by a British designer, can dress itself in the future-fantasy world of Japan? Is it the embellishment of leathers, from calf to crocodile, with UFO patches, airbrushed rockets, and illustrated manga robots? And what does it say when you carry a perfectly cut overnight bag populated with these galaxy-inspired images? Are you paying homage to Spain or Japan?
So many questions. Perhaps the best way to approach this collision of cultures is not to think too much about the whys and wherefores and, well, just enjoy it. To invoke fun is one of the goals of creative director Jonathan Anderson for the spring 2016 men’s collection from Loewe. A visit to Japan and, more specifically, the discovery of four 17th-century wooden screens prompted the designer to append the look of Loewe with elements of Japanese animation. The effect is undoubtedly playful with clothes and accessories evoking the youthful spirit of escapism. See, for example, the Puzzle bag whose geometric panels have become the canvas for various space-themed iconography (as if they were comic book panels telling a story).
All of this is a continuation of Anderson’s redefinition of the 170-year-old brand, which, since his appointment in 2013, has become something totally new—a little peculiar and certainly more exciting. By closing the disparity between what is traditional and what is happening right now, Loewe is refreshed. After all, in style, you cannot stubbornly stay put in one place. You have to look forward to stay relevant. And if that means having a good ol’ time with a jaunt to an idiosyncratic location like Japan or even outer space, so be it.
Clockwise from top: XXL Cookie and Saturn coin purses, Galaxy sneakers, Amazona bag, embroidered purse, XL Puzzle bag, and Spaceship keyrings.