While some designers understandably phoned it in this season, Jonathan Anderson did not went all in. His spring-summer collection for Loewe brings new meaning to gallery girls. Each piece looks as if it belongs in a museum, and the art world is one that Anderson is familiar with.
Since 2015, Anderson has worked with artist Anthea Hamilton, most notably in a 2018 installation for the Tate Museum in London, England. He once again tapped the surrealist to design wallpaper that accompanied this season’s invitation to give viewers a comprehensive experience. In lieu of an in-person runway, Loewe’s team sent out invitations that encouraged “attendees” to participate in the creativity, titling the collection “Show-in-a-Box”. That box being a package sent to “attendees” that consisting of scissors, powdered glue, a paintbrush, and rolls of Hamilton’s wallpaper. Gimmicky, yes, but in the way that high art tends to be, like placing a dot sticker down at a Yayoi Kusama exhibit. Expect these deliveries to crawl through your Instagram feeds shortly.
Anderson approached this collection like a historian. “I liked this idea of how we were going to really delve into exploring the art of fashion,” he says in the brand’s collection video, a COVID-19 virtual substitute for a formal walk-though. “It makes us think of the past, the present, and future. How can you make these three things communicate without having to disregard for the other?”
And his research shows. Not only does he note American ceramicist George E. Ohr as inspiration behind new bag shapes, but it’s clear that Anderson is bridging gaps between epochs. The collection borrows from Victorian-era couture with his whimsical interpretation of boning and bustles mashed up with a whiff of Rei Kawakubo’s undulating forms in a playful game of exaggeration. Hamilton’s wallpaper ballooned into a two-piece. Latticework was sprinkled with floral appliqués, shoulders poofed, and knits were knotted.
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With time on his hands in isolation, Anderson emphasized, “This collection glorifies the hand embroidered, the hand woven, the handmade.” One structured basket cape made of…