When in Ja­pan

Span­ish leather meets manga ro­bots from Ja­pan at Loewe.

Esquire (Philippines) - - STYLE -

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.

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