• Text Finn Blythe
  • 2nd October 2020

show on the wall

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.