A sparkling mist of water from towering fountains cooled overheated VIP guests at Spanish luxury fashion house Loewe’s show on Saturday at Paris Fashion Week. Its Northern Irish designer Jonathan Anderson masterfully translated the essence of sculptor Lynda Benglis’ works into a spring collection that explored themes of sparkle and elongated form. It was a fitting showcase of his continual innovation for Loewe's and underscored Anderson's status among the Parisian design elite.
Here are some highlights of the day's spring-summer 2024 menswear collections:
Andreson Reimagines Menswear With Artistic Sparkle
Against the backdrop of the monumental, water-spouting sculptures, Loewe’s latest Paris Fashion Week show was nothing short of a spectacle — and with Anderson at the helm, traditional menswear was reimagined and reshaped. High-waisted trousers bore a touch of vintage nostalgia, their surreal heights commanding attention and distorting perceptions of the human form. Mirroring the shimmering sparkle of the surrounding fountains, sequins and crystals added a festive disco-era energy to the collection.
Anderson’s touch was evident in the deceptively ordinary blazers, coats, and knits — his cuts transformed the seemingly straightforward items into gestural artworks. A suede tunic with a conjoined handbag created from the same leather tickled the fancy of the audience, including actor Brian Cox, and drew a flurry of camera clicks.
The collection featured a subdued palette of soft pastels, blues, blacks and khakis, dramatically offset by accessories such as crystal-embellished sunglasses and a crystal hummingbird on a shredded brocade top. An array of footwear and oversized bags added a further dimension to Anderson’s study of proportions. The show proved that Anderson’s imaginative leadership at Loewe continues to show his prowess as an innovator, with a whimsical fusion of art and daring.
Art and Fashion: Lynda Benglis’s Sculptures
The runway at Loewe’s was also a stage for the artwork of Lynda Benglis. Three modernist fountains lined the catwalk, introducing an artistic pulse that echoed through the entire show. The sculptures, made from materials ranging from bronze to glitter, showcased Benglis’ skill in redefining conventional sculpture boundaries.
From the dramatic form of “Crescendo,” a sculpture resembling a crashing wave, to the stacked flower-like forms of “Bounty, Amber Waves, Fruited Plane,” and the algae-rock essence of “Knight Mer,” they provoked a visceral response and a flurry of snaps.
Hermes: If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It
This spring-summer, under the expert hand of veteran designer Veronique Nichanian, the Hermes menswear show unfolded with an air of cool nonchalance and subtle, sophisticated luxury. The collection offered an inviting array of pastel hues. With a soft palette of shades of steam, light grey, sage, and others graced loose silhouettes, it reflected an airy and comfortable mood. Oversized bags and sandals featuring hole motifs contributed an off-kilter feel.
Gentle geometry abounded, manifesting in stripes that danced across T-shirts and coats, drawing a bold link to Hermes’ emblematic openwork motifs. Amidst the gender-bending themes dominating many Paris high-fashion shows, Nichanian reinforced the classic realm of menswear, maintaining instead the timeless elegance Hermes has been synonymous with since her tenure began in 1988.
Kidsuper Gives a Theatrical Twist on Fashion
The KidSuper collection was exhibited in a novel fusion of fashion and theatre. The show was the brainchild of Colm Dillane, the house founder, whose approach to fashion often defies convention. Held at the historic Théâtre de l’Odéon, the show was shaped by collaborations with artist Thierry Dreyfus, theatre company The Big Funk, choreographer Leo Walk, and dance company La Marche Bleue. This unique presentation served to encapsulate Dillane’s vision in a narrative format.
Embodying KidSuper’s distinctive style, the collection was characterized by its use of vibrant colours, prints, and collages. These elements found their place on a variety of pieces, ranging from streetwear staples to Dillane’s tailored garments.
KidSuper’s latest outing continues the brand’s trajectory since its Paris Fashion Week entry in 2020. Dillane’s characteristic blend of fashion with various art forms was evident, once again confirming his alternative, multidisciplinary approach to the traditional fashion show format.