J.W. Anderson is making waves with his Loewe transformation. His first menswear collection for S/S 15 was met with strong reviews for its confident casting aside of the old (fussy tassels, dated colours) and ushering in of modernity. Now he's made the first big splash - he reformed the logo with the help of M/M Paris, overspread Paris with a campaign by Steven Meisel and created collectors' items out of his lookbooks by tapping rising photographer Jamie Hawkesworth to shoot them - he's taking slower steps to undo the work that was done before his appointment and properly realise his vision across the world. That's a slow process; it takes more than some Instagram-friendly arts and crafts inspired keyrings and covetable leather bags. Loewe has roughly 150 stores. Anderson wants to transform them all. So far he's on number 3. So it makes sense then that this collection was more pragmatic than dramatic. It would have been foolish to do something too punchy when you're still developing a narrative. So this was about continuation, about staying true to the foundations he'd set last season. He built on last year's successes - the same styles were rendered in slightly different hues and colour combinations - and the strange awkward energy that he magically manages to conjure was as visible as ever. The collection worked around the idea of a diverse wardrobe so just as there was a foppish harlequin suit, ideal for the modern dandy (and great for stylists looking some something jazzy for editorial), there were also branded sweatshirts and luxury sporty wide-leg trousers that tap into the zeitgeist and will keep the buyers happy.
Anderson has a keen commercial mind - he's as excited by the growth figures as he is the finish on a bag. He'd made some smart additions to his repertoire for A/W 15. Most notably, he'd jumped on the trainer bandwagon, offering a pair that combined the sweet, cartoonish brogues he debuted for S/S 15 with a familiar sporty shape. Similarly, he'd offered more of his signature logo-ed accessories - key rings stamped proudly with Loewe white lettering on bright primary-hued leather. Anderson is good at letting his fans hype the brand on his behalf. He gets them to spread the name and campaign through Instagram by serving up the kind of great nostalgic imagery social media loves, and, with all those clever buy-into-the-brand gems - the charms, the sunglasses, the little pouches - he'll get them out and about spreading the Loewe name on the streets with the same vigour and determination that Kenzo's logo was hammered into the retina via those ubiquitous tiger sweaters. As always, imagery rather than design is what will really mark this collection down in history. Hawkesworth's lookbook photos, shot in a small town outside of Madrid, are part elegant and part gawky, part sensual and part stiff, and, in those contradictions, spark intrigue and catch your interest; they offer a seductive taste of how modern and nonchalant life in land Loewe could be, should you make a purchase. The wonder trio that is Anderson, Hawkesworth and stylist Benjamin Bruno have created a world we all want to be a part of in this modern age. It's life through a flattering filter, a yellowy sun-kissed dreamland they'll soon get us all to buy into, one branded blanket at a time.