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As the metaphysical becomes the metaverse, the gradual assimilation of our lives into a digital realm is easily overlooked. The dissentient questioning of this narrative is what’s explored in Loewe's Fall/Winter 2022 show. Communicated through voluminous, sculpted, LED-illuminated and trompe l’oeil pieces the nuances and the subversive perspective of the show delivers a long overdue examination of reality today.

At the crux of the collection is a train of ontological thought, one that prompts the onlookers to devise that everything is not as it seems. Capturing this ruling of illusion, the collection illustrates a masterful convergence of the normal with the abnormal: where coat interiors are instead exterior, pockets serve no real purpose, and a hand grasps the glossy surface of a conch as if it were a handbag. The collection comments on the omnipresence of the artificial glow that pools from our phone screens and technological devices. Blazer sleeves bordered by LEDs spill a candescent glowing yellow, fibre optic lights weave into coats and stitch into bodysuits; it’s as if the glow is coming directly from the body.

The body, as a vessel for arrival and departure into the world, serves as a principal muse in the collection. Models parade t-shirts of their reflections, some upturned, masking their faces altogether. Others adorn trompe l'oeil style garments: displaying printed physiques of chiselled midriffs and toned torsos. These printed physiques are accompanied by white-bordered silhouettes, ruminative of mediocre photoshop cut outs. Experimenting with exaggerated shaping, Jonathan Anderson offers a pensive remark on the modern trope of consumer culture. The playful asymmetrical distortion of tops and trousers see pieces flung from the model’s waistlines, these warped protrusions almost parallel to Facetune and photo editing features in operation today.

In the collection that omits any immediate seasonal connotations, Creative Director Jonathan Anderson constructs a vision that resides in a secular space of its own. Housed within Flags, Paris 2022, a site-specific installation by the contemporary artists Joe McShea and Edgar Mosa. The models tread a runway of crystallised sand, weaving between an array of colourful plain flags which act as a call to reflection, reacting only to the movement of the models and the audience.

Tiarna Meehan

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