show on the wall

Loewe SS21
Fashion | 2 October 2020

Few designers have embraced the current gloom like Jonathan Anderson. His most recent offering for Loewe SS21 saw another impressive feat of alchemy, transforming the void left by a hugely interrupted season into an opportunity to start again from the ground up while re-writing what a ‘collection’ is all about. Moving from his previous Show-in-a-Box, this women’s collection was presented as a Show-on-the-Wall, created once again in collaboration with M/M, and demonstrating that new restrictions need not necessarily mean restrictive thinking.

Arriving in a pizza-shaped box (with an archive image by Steven Meisel screenprinted on one side) are all the tools needed to plaster the town a shade of Loewe. Featuring a wallpaper collaboration with British artist Anthea Hamilton at its heart (with whom he also collaborated on a performance piece at Tate Britain’s Duveen Gallery in 2018), the box of tools includes wallpaper glue, a brush, scissors, a ceramic disc infused with beetroot scent and a catalogue raisonné. For the musically gifted, there’s also sheet music for Thomas Tallis´Spem in Alium, a motet for forty voices.

With all that excitement it’s at times easy to forget the reason we’re here: the clothes. These were presented on a collection of pull-out cards, worn by a diverse cast that included Adam Bainbridge, Anthea Hamilton, Hilary Lloyd, Kristina de Coninck and Laurence Kleinknecht. Voluminous silhouettes dominated from the off and rarely relented throughout – you could sense Anderson had fun with this. Looks swaddled bodies in depths of inflated fabrics. Crinolines merged with a ballerina-like elegance, moments of tailoring mixed with moments of pure fantasy and flashes of tulle gave an overarching sense of weightlessness. This is about Anderson re-defining fashion’s outreach, at a time when such thinking is needed most.

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show