In countless respects, we’ve come a long way since the Givenchy Rottweiler tee that heralded streetwear’s still-running relationship with high fashion. Nowadays, in the realm of canine fashion apparel (and beyond), the people want less bark, less bite—which is exactly the sort of vibe that anthropomorphized dogs rendered in fleece can deliver.
Case in point: a cushy anorak and matching shorts set from Loewe’s Eye/LOEWE/Nature line, a permanent extension to the brand’s men’s ready-to-wear collections centered on playful, upcycled pieces. “I love the idea of repurposing something that already has a life: it reminds me of the transformative power of creativity,” creative director Jonathan Anderson said of the sub-line in 2019. Here, Anderson repurposes the iconic not-art-art poster of yore, taking some creative liberties and boosting biodiversity with the addition of a few Wes Anderson-y foxes. (Did you know that the image of dogs playing poker, from Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s series of oil paintings on the subject, dates all the way back to 1894?) Aside from the pullover and the ultra-baggy shorts, the same print also appears on a cotton T-shirt.
Anderson sourced many a cool graphic this season—elsewhere in the collection are sweaters and flannels featuring illustrations by the artist Moya Garrison-Msingwana—although the Dog Poker callback feels particularly playful, in a way that makes sense for right now. (See also: Acne Studios’s fall 2020 collaboration with the British painter Lydia Blakeley, known for her pastel portraits of show dogs.)
For all of our reference-heavy nostalgia, maybe there’s something beyond the kitsch. Dig a little deeper and you might uncover a murky yearning for those halcyon days when you could hang with your buds, canine or otherwise, freely. Perhaps even the idea of an outdoors-inspired, gorp-core sub-line like Eye/LOEWE/Nature veers into the territory of optimistic hobby-wear, designed for all of the leisure time we may or may not have. Then again, speaking of nostalgic iconography, maybe there is something to a high-fashion dorm poster revival. OK, now do the Pink Floyd back catalogue poster next.