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Loewe: Anderson’s ode to Albert York, The American Royalty favorite painter

Comprehending the art of Albert York is understanding the latest proposal from Jonathan  Anderson for Loewe. The American artist became apparent with his depiction of quotidian scenes  and objects. These items would seem provincial to some, but to the trained eye, he captured the  life of America’s upper class. In his paintings, decorative articles from the dominant classes such  as chinas or crystal vases adorned with flowers, could be identified. The contemporary female  artist Susan Rothenberg once said about him “Each time he paints, he paints for the first time.” 

Like York, Anderson understands the magnetism of the inherent elitism that certain prints and  objects possess, indicating an understanding of his audience as well as his ongoing compromise  with the arts. The raw awkwardness of York’s paintings took the Parisian catwalk through the bold  shapes that were introduced by the northern Irish designer. 

As the objects that Albert depicted, York’s paintings decorated America’s elite Hampton’s  mansions and Madison Avenue’s apartments. He painted from memory and rarely produced more  than six paintings a year, which helped to build a sense of exclusivity. People who purchased his  paintings usually got hooked by his style and bought more, as is the case of Jackie Onassis who  owned five, and her friend, the heiress, horticulturist, and art collector Bunny Mellon, who owned  three. 

On Anderson’s show one-dimensional outfits served as the perfect parallelism with the oil  paintings from York. The English early-18th-century Chelsea porcelain and wallpaper flower that  American interior designers used during the 1920s to add an aristocratic touch to their work,  inspired Loewe’s chintzy fabrics, that filled several garments of the collection. The use of these  prints draws a brilliant conceptual connection with the art of Albert York, that elevated mundane  objects through his sophisticated technique. 

In line with the English aristocracy nature of the theme, and the influence this had on American  crafts and arts, Anderson found inspiration in the traditional Etonian suit from the 20s. Said jacket  has been reinvented to proportionate character and a distinguishing touch in combination with  eye-catching prints. “I think it’s always in an exploration stage and you go back to it and how do  you look at historical craft that has nothing to do with fashion and reapply it to clothing?” said  Anderson. 

A master in story-telling, Jonathan Anderson sure does know how to provide his shows with the  finishing touches with perfectly executed garments that rely on craftsmanship and fabric  treatment.

Tapestry embroideries of pets, the long-time friends of the privileged ones, and which are part of  the imagery of an English cottage interior design, made an appearance on the runway on an A line dress with the expected level of craftsmanship for the Maison.  

Fluid elongated dresses with floral prints took different colors while big belts accentuated the  model’s waists. The leather accessories were masterfully styled accompanying the outfits as part  of the brand’s signature piece.  

Accessories added the finishing touches, with a model carrying an asparagus bag made of an  intricate work meant to mimic caviar as a nod to provincial French ceramics that often adorned  the houses of the high class before replicas of them inundated the clearance markets which  invited to reflect on the real value of things and how something once grandiose and sophisticated  can be considered “grotesque” with the passing of time. 

This masterful collection, which has been richly embroidered and that brings novelties to ready to-wear is a reflection upon luxury and a lesson on the glorious days of the upper classes. “Why  do we buy things and why do those things have meaning?” Anderson questioned. “It’s the idea of  a Chippendale chair, of a commission of those chairs, and the idea of an outsider looking into a  world that we don’t experience.” Remarked Anderson. 

Words: @edugilhurta