12 posts tagged "Jonathan Anderson"
“This is it. This is me. And I want you to come on my journey”: Jonathan Anderson on His Honest Debut Loewe Campaign-------
Despite what designers may tell you, there are few things in 2014 that are truly new. Everyone is inspired by something, whether it’s iconic photographs from decades past, seminal runway shows, an artist’s work, the list goes on. Jonathan Anderson, who showed his first collection for LVMH-owned heritage house Loewe in Paris this morning, is no different. But in his debut campaign for the house, which was unveiled yesterday, he actually did something quite fresh: He not only acknowledged his references, he highlighted them. The campaign, which was shot by Steven Meisel with art direction by M&M Paris (who also created Loewe’s revamped logo), is based on a 1997 Meisel editorial, which itself was based on an Alex Katz image. So alongside the new ads, Anderson has incorporated the old snaps. “Instead of hiding the inspiration, we just showed it,” offered Anderson, while snacking on some prawns in Paris Wednesday night. This honesty permeates his Spring ’15 menswear collection, too, which you can click through here. Ahead of his presentation, Anderson spoke with Style.com about the new ads, striving for timelessness, and why he never wants to feel like he’s “made it.”
This is the first big-budget campaign of your career. How did it go?
I keep pinching myself to believe that it’s all happening. It’s been nearly nine months in the making. When I was first thinking of Loewe, I had this 1997 Steven Meisel Vogue Italia editorial in mind, which was based on an Alex Katz picture. It was a group of kids on the beach, and I pitched it to the group. We were trying to work out how to tackle the house’s historical credentials. We got M&M on board to do the logo, and then it was, Well, how do we make imagery for this brand and show it as a cultural reference to fashion, a cultural reference to non-fashion? So we came up with the idea to reuse the 1997 Meisel images, and then we did new imagery with Meisel. We superimposed both, and used the idea of the fashion reference. There was no point in asking Meisel to re-create the image. It was more exciting to show his work now as art.
It feels very meta—this idea of Meisel referencing himself referencing Alex Katz. How does that tie in to your approach to this first collection?
I want Loewe to become a cultural brand. For me, the challenge was how do I take a [heritage] brand and make it modern for right now? We see these images in fashion repeated and copied and repeated and copied, and I thought it was better to just show them. They exist and they’re sharp and modern. I want Loewe to be an honest brand, and I want it to be open to new forms of fashion, new forms of imagery, and new forms of information. So by taking the still life of the bag and shooting it against a white backdrop, it is the bag. We’re not hiding anything—that’s it.
You included some pieces from the Loewe archive in the campaign. As an experimental designer, how did you go about working with Loewe’s archive to create your Spring ’15 imagery?
Well, I had to think, Do I reject the archive or do I embrace the archive? When I looked at the products from past decades, or when I looked at all the logos from years gone by, I loved what these things referred to culturally—what was happening at the time in photography, art, sports, music. All that was reflected in the logos. And when I looked at products, they did the same. In 1846, when trunks were necessary, Loewe had trunks. And then when it came to the seventies and the birth of airlines, you see the bags developed. Loewe has always been reactionary, and I wanted to show a work in progress, because this brand is a work in progress for me. So the campaign images are basically saying, “This is it. This is me. And I want you to come on my journey.”
What do you hope these images convey about the collection you’re sending down the runway?
That clothing exists in the world, in many forms and many decades. And ultimately in the end, you never really own it. It becomes part of the zeitgeist. I want people to see this as an edit—a very personal edit of a man’s wardrobe. This is my first major serious job, and it’s a big undertaking, and I want people to see that this is what it is, and we’re going to take it in many different angles, but fundamentally, it will be culturally aware.
The campaign shots you sent over are very accessories-driven, but there’s one striking image of a model wearing a look from the menswear collection, posing against a Saran-wrapped backdrop. Can you tell me about this photograph?
The concept is the idea of the nothingness. It’s the purity of the silhouette and the character within. I wanted to convey the idea that you were unpacking something, and that’s what it was. I love that this image looks like a work in progress. Ultimately, it’s a jersey suit, and in my mind the Loewe man is on the beach, in a jersey suit and espadrilles. He’s on the beach and being cool, even if it’s been boiling hot all day. I like the lightness, the airiness. I love how the flesh looks with the jersey. It has this naive effect. And it’s not anything more than that. I didn’t want to rush into the brand. I want to nurture it.
Did you feel that you had to go a more commercial route for these images than you would with ads for your own label?
I never thought about it as, “We have to be commercial.” I think that’s always a trap. I was just thinking, Does this feel right? The product has to make sense for me and for the consumer. I think this is consumer-led advertising because it’s coming right now—the product will be in the store in the next couple of weeks, so I want to know what the customer is thinking. I need to know what the buyer is thinking. That’s the nerve-racking part, but it’s also the most exciting part.
I remember interviewing you when you did your first campaign for J.W. Anderson. It was beautiful, but very DIY. Now you’re working with some of the biggest people in the business. Do you feel this campaign is a “made it” moment?
I don’t know if it’s a “made it” [moment]. I think, as a designer, you never really feel like you’ve “made it.” And if you do, it’s kind of worrying. I’m just so grateful that Steven and M&M wanted to work with me, and I think this campaign is a milestone for Loewe. It encompasses what this brand has fundamentally been about for many years. But we live in the day of social media, where images are devoured and devoured. People who were not involved in the fashion world would not know if Meisel’s image was shot today or twenty years ago. That’s what’s so interesting about Meisel. His work has got that element of timelessness, and that’s something I want in my products—for them to feel timeless.
How are you feeling leading up to the big debut?
It’s a lot of work. We’ve got our new building. We have the advertising campaign. We have the menswear collection, we have the bag collection, everything. And then it goes into stores in a couple weeks. There are a lot of balls in the air, but I have an amazing team of people who have been incredible. I’m very lucky that someone has basically said, “We trust you to do it.” I want to enjoy it. I’m looking forward to seeing that beach scene on a kiosk. I’m looking forward to seeing it in a magazine. I’m looking forward to seeing clothing on people. Loewe has become my brand, but it is Loewe. I’m here as a guest, but we’re rebuilding, and we’re rebuilding a house that has incredible craft and technology and details that I’ve never seen before in my entire life. Every day, I get up a 6 a.m. because I’m excited. And I think that’s what it should be about.
Mayfair: the most expensive square on the British Monopoly board. Mount Street: fast replacing Bond Street as the place to shop for the highest of fashions in London. At Number 9 Mount Street, Roksanda Ilincic is stood outside her new, and first, store–looking very beautiful, tall and glamorous as usual, and this is a sloppy, shop-fitting day for her–she is pointing up the road. “There’s Nicholas, and this is where Christopher is going to be and here is me,” she says, counting down from one to the other, genuinely thrilled to be next door-but-one to her friends and fashion peers, Nicholas Kirkwood and Christopher Kane.
Christopher and Tammy Kane are opening their store here later this year, while Jonathan Anderson’s newly logoed Loewe stands across the road. Marking how far this peer group of designers has travelled, by making the journey from Dalston in the Far East to the most Up West location of the lot, the new fashion establishment is well and truly taking over this seemingly most chi-chi part of London. Yet, at the same time, it is also one of the most peculiarly British places in the capital; international, yet strangely traditional, there is a butcher’s shop directly across the road. “Sometimes they have four whole pigs in the window—that’s my favorite shop,” says Ilincic, genuinely impressed by the amount of pigs they can squeeze in that store front. “That and Moynat. You should see the time they take and the detail to make bags, I am obsessed,” she says somewhat more expectedly of the quietly chic, French luxury leather goods house. In her own shop window is a creation by Gary Card, the set designer, which was unveiled yesterday evening. It meets somewhat metaphorically between the two.
It is such weird contradictions that go to make up the character and career of Roksanda Ilincic; so seemingly ethereal and yet, I am told, at times swearing like a sailor when attending football matches, she is always refreshingly down to Earth and always herself. The designer has a superb eye for color and an architectural flair–she originally trained as an architect in her native Belgrade before completing her Fashion MA at London’s Central Saint Martins. Both meet in the interior of her store, designed in conjunction with the internationally renowned architect David Adjaye OBE–his largest commission is the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Needless to say, he is somewhat impressive.
“We designed elements together because I wanted it to feel like an extension of my clothing, not a regular shop,” says the designer. “I studied architecture myself, so whether it is the interior or the detail on a coat in the store, it still has that architectural experience.” Ilincic says this while shifting seamless felt covered doors in characteristic colors from past collections that make up rooms downstairs. “There’s deep purple, lime-yellow, dusty pink, and neutral beige.” The designer has never been afraid of a strong palette and has not shied away from one in the store – yet, as always, it all works.
In the Mount Street location, there will also be a made-to-measure service, specializing in event-wear and wedding dresses, hence all the privacy and secrecy of those seamless doors. This line will carry the designer’s full name. But with the launch of the store there is also an eye on the bigger global market and a slight rebranding for the rest of the ready-to-wear collections: they will now be labeled “Roksanda,” as will the store. “Well, nobody seemed to be able to pronounce Ilincic,” shrugs the designer, disarmingly honest as usual. “And it just looked better graphically.” So with the launch of the store and the single moniker, it appears that the journey from the Far East to the Far West will now be a rapidly expanding global one – coming to a chi-chi shopping street near you.
The Fall ’14 menswear collections kicked off in London today, and will be followed by the shows at Florence’s Pitti Uomo, in Milan, and in Paris. Before the new clothes hit the runway, we’ve asked some of the most anticipated names to offer a sneak peek. Per usual, it’s a busy time for all—designers and fashion followers alike—so we’re continuing our split-second previews: tweet-length previews at 140 characters or less. Our entire collection of Fall ’14 previews is available here.
WHO: J.W. Anderson, designed by Jonathan Anderson
WHEN: Tuesday, January 7
WHAT: “Aristocratic biscuits.” —Jonathan Anderson. The designer sent us a sneak peek of his Fall ’14 show space, above.
Alessandro Dell’Acqua isn’t one to wax nostalgic. “For me, designing is all about a new story and a modern attitude,” the designer said before a cocktail party in honor of his ready-to-wear label, No. 21, at the New York residence of Valentina Castellani on Friday night. The soiree celebrated a new push for the brand, which, founded in 2010, gained financial backing from Gilmar in 2012. And the evolution of his label is evidence that Dell’Acqua’s forward-looking philosophy applies not only to his clothes, but to his life, too. Fall ’14 will bring plenty of new adventures for Dell’Acqua, now 50. He’s launching menswear under the No.21 moniker, as well as presenting his first collection for heritage French house Rochas, where he was appointed creative director in October after Marco Zanini announced that he was leaving to head up Schiaparelli. “I’m not a young designer, so when they called, I said, Are you sure?” Dell’Acqua laughed, noting that other storied houses (like Balenciaga and Loewe) have opted for younger creative directors (like Alexander Wang and Jonathan Anderson, respectively). Sometimes, however, it helps to have a talent who knows the ropes.
Indeed, Dell’Acqua is no up-and-comer. In 1996, before stints at Malo and Les Copains, the designer launched his successful, hyper-feminine namesake line, known for its whimsical yet seductive allure and lingerie accents. Two years later, he started an eponymous menswear range. But his story is all too familiar—Dell’Acqua lost the rights to his name after a dispute with his parent company, Cherry Grove (who also owned Malo), in 2009. He made a comeback a year later with No. 21—a ready-to-wear label named for his birthday (December 21) and his lucky number. “It’s about real women,” he told Style.com during that first show in 2010. Now, three years later, the brand, which is carried in stores like Selfridges and Matches, independent boutiques, and at such e-tailers as Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi, delivers just that—smart staples (think: embellished separates, slick blazers, and crisp overcoats) that cater to real-world women with a penchant for luxury. “No. 21 was born out of a horrible moment for me,” recalled Dell’Acqua. “I wanted to do a little line that was completely different, but still had my DNA.”