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In a growing digital age, the avenues of the organic and fabricated worlds are becoming increasingly intertwined. In the Loewe Men Spring/Summer 2023 collection, in collaboration with bio-designer Paula Ulargui Escalona, they present high-tech pieces alongside conceptual natural design. Creative director, Jonathan Anderson, theorises a harmonious contiguity between the realms of nature and technology and what results is a futuristic yet poetic collection, devoid of any negative perspective.

Immersed in a cacophony of electrifying noises, models emerged from the light beckoned by the shrill of a phone ring, heavy finger fall on a keyboard and the distorted whirl of a processor. Occupying the parameters of a dazzling white chasm, the showspace itself was understated, its encasing projection evocative of the glow of phone and laptop screens. This thematic use of technology continued throughout the collection: where coats were embellished with phone cases, models adorned wire headphones and plasma screens plastered upon garments to present Shutterstock images of nature.

Embodying this statement juxtaposition, the collection presented vibrant variations of typical staples. Sweatshirts, polos, track pants and hoodies in solid neutrals were paired with accented bursts of colour. Materials were padded nappa, and ozone-treated cotton, used to fabricate an aged patina on their surface.

At the very epitome of this symbiosis viridescent chia plants wove into longline overcoats and catswort sprouted from shoes and jackets. With plants seeded, watered and nurtured over 20 days in a polytunnel outside Paris, preparation for this collection was no easy feat. The collection’s conceptual integration is attributable to collaboration with the Spanish bio-designer Paula Ulargui Escalona. Although not available for commercial buy, the living pieces of the collection speak to a larger ideology. Where this ingenious presentation of nature and technology facilitates conversation surrounding a prospective symbiosis between the two. Especially topical as we observe a wider move within the industry to create plant-based materials with positive impacts.

Tiarna Meehan

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