In a blindingly white setting — at least that’s what it appeared like to those of us watching the Loewe spring/summer 2023 menswear show through screens — creative director Jonathan Anderson proposed a menswear collection that explored the intersection of nature and technology. Mainly, in the aspects of clothes-making.
Immediately, the show drew you to the spring/summer 2023 interpretation of the Loewe Flow runners. In its most exaggerated form yet, the sneakers were almost entirely covered with grass sprouting from their uppers. And if those weren’t statement enough, a similar overgrowth situation was seen on a number of ready-to-wear pieces — from sweatpants to full-bodied coats.
The treatment was a result of a collaboration with designer Paula Ulargui Escalona. Using a technique that Escalona has mastered, the pieces merged with chia, catswort, and grass that were grown in a specially constructed polytunnel. The entire process took 20 days for the desired level of growth as seen on the runway and required constant watering (as evident by some of the wet patches on some of the pieces).
Clearly, these — as well as the pieces affixed with digital screens — won’t be commercially reproduced; it would take too much logistics to even get a single plant-ridden piece shipped to any store. But they helped to underscore the narrative behind the Loewe spring/summer 2023 menswear collection: circularity matters.
Beyond those collaborative pieces, the collection was an evolution of wardrobe staples. Classics such as jumpers, hoodies, and polo shirts were rendered in new techniques and materials. Leather blousons, for example, were padded to almost lifejacket extremities. And in a couple of looks, they were magnified as long, padded coats that looked weighty but had a bounce to them as the models walked. The same goes for the polo shirts — ozone-treated to appear as though they were uncovered from deep underground — and padded denim shirts.
What was perhaps one of the key defining pieces from the collection was the translation of the Loewe Puzzle bag into ready-to-wear. As seen on looks 26 and 27, the Puzzle bag was transformed into leather berms complete with the signature topstitching as well as the zipped construction and leather strap — a splendid example of Loewe’s leather mastery.
On the accessories front, the Puzzle bag received a refreshed in complete tone-on-tone renditions with additional chain hardware. Simple raffia tote bags featured leather top handles and splashed with ‘Loewe’ right across the top. Other new bags included the introduction of a small-sized hard-case crossbody bag in a range of colours, and a leather tote bag designed with logo-laden webbing handles in two lengths.
Strip away the eye-catching moments from the Loewe spring/summer 2023 menswear collection and you’re left with a collection that’s inherently quite simple aesthetically. But as they always say, the devil is in the details.
View the full Loewe spring/summer 2023 menswear collection in the gallery below.