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Experimental feature

JW Anderson conceived the look of his Loewe SS16 woman six months ago, when the campaign was shot by Steven Meisel. The pictures are already on billboards around Paris, and the Puzzle bag from SS16 (in a new hologram metallic) and looks from the show — including a silver tinsel dress and geese-printed top — are already available to pre-order online. For the luxury leather house, which doesn’t yet offer “pre collections” between seasons, this new mode of purchase is its own version of fast fashion. And it’s one being adopted increasingly by an industry that needs to deliver a trickle rather than tsunami of merchandise throughout the season. “People get bored. I get bored,” said Anderson backstage. See it, buy it — this is prêt-à-carter style for the mobile generation.

Considering Anderson had “locked down the Loewe woman” so long ago, this SS16 collection was still fresh with new ideas. There were vivid metallics, dripping golden jewellery (another category Anderson is greatly expanding), and lots of transparency. The designer had been drawn to plastic as a counterpoint to the leather on which the house was built, the man-made material melding with rich organic suedes and crocodile. Bags were see-through and structured; clear polyurethane jackets exposed the “bare bones” of the wardrobe underneath, according to Anderson, and clingy film added a sheen of the surreal to naked limbs (something also seen at Margiela, which featured a broken mirror appliqué as well).

The most striking feature here, however, was the branding. The Loewe insignia was remade as a print and banded across bomber jackets and trousers, the Loewe logo emblazoned across tops. Gentler motifs featured flying Canada geese — a witty critique of the flying ducks of middle-class domesticity? Here they were elevated as mirrored brooches and genteel prints — these were birds for the haute bourgeoisie.

Loewe is a brand on a mission to make its name resonate more widely (Delphine Arnault, executive vice-president of LVMH — which owns Loewe — made a point of personally greeting journalists in the room) and the 31-year-old Anderson, now in his third season at the Spanish luxury house, is hungry for success. The logo may still have a way to go in its ascent to fashion iconography, but it’s certainly making its presence felt.

For more reports from the shows, go to our fashion weeks page on FT.com

Photographs: Catwalking

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