Jonathan Anderson draws on history to make present fantasies a new reality

Creative director Jonathan Anderson experiments with form for Loewe Fall/Winter 2021. The collection, titled “A Show in the News,” premiered in a newspaper with a bold headline reading “THE LOEWE SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED.” The newspaper, dispatched across the globe, is one in a series of Anderson’s creative approaches to avoid the virtual shows most fashion houses have been cornered into. Last year’s “Show in a Box” sent DIY exhibitions in lieu of a traditional show. He favors the physicality of objects to the digital with the latest presentation: a tin box that serves as a time capsule to hold the paper in, an excerpt from Danielle Steel’s new book, The Affair, and an elegant letter opener.

The pandemic has become a source of inspiration for Loewe beyond the show’s structure in the collection itself. “Clothing is an amazing thing to work with right now,” Anderson says in a walkthrough of the collection. “Especially when things are so restricted because you can kind of have this idea of a fantasy that can become a reality.” Psychedelic influence brings bold yellows, blues, greens, and oranges with the intent of color therapy.

The collection draws on history. The buckled shoes of the 17th and 18th centuries serve as a base for a similar shoe, and the buckle itself is reimagined onto garments with fabric knotted into large white discs. Horse-riding jackets of the ’20s inspire elongated tailoring. The fashion house looks back on itself for accessories. Its signature Amazona bag from the ’70s maintains its famous style while using technical advancements to modernize it. The Flamenco bag is supersized, its subtleness showcasing leather in its purest, unadorned form. Imaginings of life beyond the pandemic are sparked by the Bracelet bag, where a bracelet becomes a bag in pleated leather.

The collection is loud, but wearable with subtle, but intricate embroideries and embellishment saturated into prints. In a time of redundancy, Anderson manages to present something that feels entirely new.

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