Loewe has been on an upswing this year. From beginning the year with a viral collection — the one with Minnie mouse shoes and pixelated hoodie — to dressing Rihanna for the Superbowl and Beyonce for her world tour, Loewe’s artistic touch has been what celebrities and customers are both desiring. This also explains why they recently topped the Lyst index for the second quarter of this year.
From a simple anagram tank top to the celebratory Paula Ibiza collections, Jonathan Anderson has a knack for balancing the artful with the commercial — a fundamental part of his successes, and a formula that even his campaigns follow. See the latest Autumn Winter 2023 menswear campaign; a follow-up to the womenswear counterpart that revolves around the theme of reductionism, interpreted into an uncanny series of images.
Loewe casts its faces purposefully. While it can sometimes feel unexpected, this point of contention is often intentional and works in favour of the House’s unorthodox approach to the brand’s world building. That’s exactly evident in having singer and songwriter Omar Apollo and Golden-Globe nominated actor Jamie Dornan front Loewe’s AW23 campaign.
While other brands prefer to mould a personality to fit their existing narrative, Loewe allows who they bring on to build on it. There is the unmissable Brit in Dornan that gives the collapsible Puzzle Tote a slight preppy feel, while the hedonistic allure of the red satin that Apollo dons recalls his own personal charm. There is a celebration of individuality on all fronts, and this collective embrace is what allows the world of Loewe to constantly expand in unexpected ways. The bigger the perceived incongruence in profile choice, the more layered and dimensional Loewe’s world becomes; that is how Loewe trumps the traditionally exclusive industry of luxury fashion, and is an innately welcome invitation, written by Jonathan Anderson, for all who are interested to join in the good fun.
Taking cues from allegoric paintings, the campaign images capture the warm and surreal tones familiar with said art style. Lensed by David Sims — a change from the usual Juergen Teller — the campaign explores what the gaze and body gestures used to express feelings and sensations can do. Championing the theme of reduction are both Apollo and Dornan, both were set in a cozy studio, with rubberised sheets enveloping the space — obscuring whatever object that decorated the room into blurred orbs and amplifying the presence of the Loewe pieces that become symbolic objects.
Surrealism also trickled into the poses and still-life images. Besides both aforementioned artists, the campaign featured a trio of models with wings made of copper and paper, they stood with their arms reclining on a table, conceiving postures and silhouettes that recall Renaissance art. The poses also follows the unencumbered nature of Julien Nguyen’s models — the fine artist, who was a point of reference for the collection itself — who also shares a love for the old masters along with Anderson. This is perhaps why he was also commissioned to illustrate the collection’s show invitation in addition to the two giant drawings that occupied the runway space.
Meanwhile, surrealism within the accessories appeared in how blunt and direct it was shot. The recently released collapsible Puzzle Tote and Terra Chelsea boots and derbies (the brush suede boots are a desperate need) are captured in all of their sculptural and textural glory.