Spring 2013 is an homage to the spirit of Gala Dalí, the erudite, bohemian muse to the Surrealists and wife of Salvador Dalí. Inspired by her sophistication and eccentricity, Loewe’s Creative Director Stuart Vevers has reimagined the historic figure of Gala as a young woman in a modern-day setting. The image of Gala in her later years manoeuvring her massive Cadillac at high speed through the narrow streets and across the cliff tops between her homes in Púbol and Cadaqués on the Catalan coast fired Vevers’ imagination; in particular, the way she embodied both the authority of aristocracy and the easy freedom of youth.
In researching the collection, Vevers and his design team visited Gala’s home in Cadaqués, festooned with dried yellow helichrysums, her favourite flower. These picturesque environments turned the design team’s attention to the aesthetic traditions of rural Spain, such as the handmade lace encajes de bolillos, swirling baroque patterns, and the mantón de Manila, the ornate, fringed scarf used in Flamenco. These references were offset against modern, urban influences – such as the MA-1 flight jacket, a practical piece of military kit appropriated by underground youth culture – taking seemingly disparate elements and fusing them into something new. This contrast continues in the bags, where tough, military details meet leather baskets hand-woven by artisans in Galicia using a process inspired by the time-honoured Spanish craft of esparto weaving.
In producing this collection, Loewe has taken the artisanal techniques for which it is well known – leatherworking skills such as debossing, die cutting, plaiting, leather appliqué and embroidery – and re-engineered them using new technology to create the most lightweight materials it has ever produced for Spring. Weight has been stripped to a minimum. Leather has been perforated and punched with baroque patterns and the floral motifs taken frommantons make the material lighter. Mesh and tulle are also in ample use in theof this serves to bring a light, luxurious ease to the entire collection.