LOEWE @AW2013 Men & Women Collection

LOEWE AW2013 Women collection inspiration comes from the city of Bilbao on the northern coast of Spain. Founded in the 14th century, it became a beacon of sophisticated, bohemian modernity set against the rustic hills of the Basque countryside. In the collection, graphic prints and colour blocking echo the architectural patchwork of Bilbao’s historic buildings, with voluminous coats and peel-away wrap shirts that emulate the lines of its famous postmodern landmarks such as the Guggenheim museum.
 The butter-soft napa for which Loewe is famed is contrasted this season by the plentiful use of shearling, providing a rugged, tactile contrast that reveals the other side of the material (literally: napa is shaved shearling). Bohemian and aristocratic, it lines the saddles in the best horse-riding schools in Spain, is reminiscent of the rugs and throws found on hearthstones and beds in Spanish castles. Loewe’s signature bag, the Amazona, has been made in full shearling. Calf has been given both glossy smooth and textured-grain finishes, while the napa has also been embossed and rubberised to give it an edge as sharp as Bilbao’s architecture.
There are also influences in the collection from other parts of the country. A ceramic decorative tradition dating back to southern Spain in the 13th century in which tall vases and tiles were adorned with birds, shields and dragons are referenced in the prints in particular, the tiles painted by the 19th-century Catalan artist Mariano Fortuny, whose ceramic blues and off-whites colour the collection. The silhouette comes from sportswear, with sweatshirt shapes giving an ease to tailoring and dresses. The colour palette has been carefully edited: jet black, off whites and bold red create a graphic effect.
 This season also sees the introduction of a new bag, the Amaya. Inspired by another of Loewe’s most popular bags, the Flamenco, it takes a formal bag shape and softens it, realised in smooth calf, decorated with equestrian-style hardware in rich brass and finished with a chain that has been meticulously braided by hand.
LOEWE menswear AW2013 collection is firmly planted in the culture and heritage of Spain. Paying homage to Spanish artist Luis Buñuel, creative director Stuart Vevers was drawn to the filmmaker’s self possessed and assured character. ‘Buñuel’s proud, noble and very masculine attitude had a strong connection with my vision for the Loewe man.
Leather forms the foundation of the Loewe man’s wardrobe: layers of luxurious textures of napa, suede, deer and sheepskin, the latter appears in numerous lengths and finishes being the seasonal statement for leather. This season’s approach to leather craft, illustrating Loewe’s expertise since 1846, aims to appeal to a connoisseur who seeks out the unique and rare.
Napa, calfskin and knitwear are all given innovative bonding treatments that result in rich textures in the exterior and the interior of garments. The sleek napa covering the Bonded Zip Cardigan contrasts with the warmth of the hand knitted cashmere found inside. While the Bonded Napa Parka is constructed in the lightest technique, melting napa against napa, so buttons and stitches are given a trompe l’oeil effect. The oversized shearling outerwear and hand knits are paired with sharp continental fit trousers to give the season’s silhouette.
Rich, earthy mahogany, walnut brown and black anchor the palette. Distinguished midnight blues connect to Loewe’s royal heritage, whilst warm beiges, winter whites, and a flourish of deep, passionate red complete the quintessentially Spanish palette. The bags continue Loewe’s signature of soft leather textures and relaxed shapes, as in the new Lorca satchel, named after the famous poet friend of Buñuel, which comes in a range of vibrant colours in suede that includes the iconic ‘Oro’. Also in suede, the ‘Almeria’ tote is a graphic new style, a lightweight and functional bag that can be worn on the shoulder or in the hand. The Amazona line is awarded texture through the use of black and ivory shearling, re-enforcing the season’s material statement.

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