This Kolor show was streamed live from Tokyo—where behind a set of gnarled and leafless trees you could spot a real, live audience! As usual, Juniche Abe presented both menswear and womenswear simultaneously. According to his notes, the collection represented a push to incorporate minimalism into his signature maximalism, in order to bring “a new style of simplicity where complexity also coexists within.”As well as climbing and fashion design, Phipps’s kinks include environmental responsibility. Again, this fun-loving collection addressed heavy issues humorously and attractively. Entitled “Endurance” after Sir Ernest Shackleton’s stricken ship on the doomed Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, the collection channeled archetypes of masculine (and sometimes maddening) exploration and reflected the consequences of the confidence that the planet is ours to conquer and exploit.
To detect the “simple” often demanded a knotty negotiation with the complex. Finely tailored trenches and camel coats lurked under bib-like pieces of collar sometimes adorned with swatches of material that looked to have been adapted from olive militaria. On the shadowy runway, menswear jackets cast a coherent slimmed down silhouette which when emerged into patches of light proved to be shaped in panels of different fabrics. Knitwear was deconstructed and sourced from different weights, patterns, and provenances to make attractively complex mongrel wearables.If Abe’s thesis didn’t convincingly stand comparison with its result, the collection itself well merited serious scrutiny. Because that minimal schminimal hoo-ha apart, this was a riotously compelling stew of slow-brewed ingredients blended into a deliciously complex whole. Sportswear, checked ’70s inspired pieces, and irregular blurs of burgundy tulle were cut against each other to create a fusion folk-costume drawn from global references that was distinct yet sometimes felt akin to the wonderful work of Antonio Marras. Coherent? Yes. Simple? Absolutely not. That fortunate audience had much to enjoy.
Things to see in this Loewe menswear lookbook: there are two collections, and the one at the bottom is produce from the company’s Eye/Loewe/Nature sustainable-practice department. Things to know: this time, the communication came as a show-in-a-book, wrapped up in a coffee-table sized monograph on the queer New York artist Joe Brainard, and as a show-on-a-shirt—a huge T-shirt printed with all the sustainable-practice pictures.Why Brainard? “I remember zines he’d done in the ’70s. We remade a book on him which we’ll be selling in bookshops, and the proceeds will go to the charity we work with all the time, Visual Aids, to help artists who have suffered from AIDS,” says Jonathan Anderson. “I felt like Brainard is so important. He was part of a huge movement, with his writing and his pansy collages—his work is now at MOMA and the Pompidou. I like his writing, it has huge optimism, questions sexuality and things like that. But he’s one of those underground figures.”
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