Brainard’s works form a bold basis for both Loewe collections. “When art and fashion meet, I’m always trying to strive for a balance that merits the person,” Anderson says. Here, this translates into direct use of the artist’s patterns and motifs. That contemporary feeling of the pansies from the late 1960s series graces a number of garments: blown-up on trousers, knitted into cardigans, and scattered across baseball caps.
Other collages and sketches adorn T-shirts and bags, including one of Anderson’s favorite pieces: a painting of a sleeping whippet on a soft green background. The overall effect—a clash of textures, structures, and unexpected layers—seems to speak subtly, too, to Brainard’s irreverent manipulation of objects and images.
The accompanying book isn’t just for show, either. As the collection goes on sale, it will become available—distributed by Visual Matter and with proceeds going to Visual Aids, a charity Anderson has worked with for years and poignant in light of Brainard’s death from Aids-induced pneumonia at the age of 52.
In 1971, Brainard wrote: “Art to me is like walking down the street with someone and saying, ‘Don’t you love that building?’ (Too)” According to Frieze magazine, this approach facilitated “an aesthetics of immediacy, unembarrassed introspection, whimsy and exploration.” These sentiments are apt for Anderson’s approach at Loewe, the creative director hungering to explore, respond to the moment, place his clothes in dialogue with the world around them and then invite everyone else along for the ride.
“Loewe is a kind of discovery brand. I like the unknown character. I like those people who sometimes get lost in history,” Anderson explains. Brainard’s artistic juxtapositions also map surprisingly well on to his increasingly expansive vision of Loewe’s cultural role.
“This is a kind of collage […] you have Eye/Loewe/Nature, some parts of the year you have Paula’s Ibiza, you have womenswear, you have the foundation, you have the craft prize, you can mix all this. I feel like it shows the richness of this very historical brand, and how much care and time goes into making it.”
One can only wonder—and curiously anticipate—what he’ll add into the mix next.