If 2020 was to be a normal year by any standards, then the streets of Paris would currently be bustling as fashionable guests took over the city for Men’s Fashion Week. From runways to parties, the usual twice-yearly event is hotly anticipated as designers reveal new seasonal collections for the next six months. But from early on, 2020 promised an uncertain year with many industries forced to think outside the box – so to speak. And in response, Jonathan Anderson has presented Loewe Men’s Spring/Summer 2021, inside a box.
Designed in collaboration with M/M (Paris), the creative director has brought things to a whole new scale with friends and family of the house receiving a literal show-in-a-box. Drawing inspiration from experiments such as Marcel Duchamp’s Museum in a Box, guests were treated to a multi-dimensional presentation where tactility was key and music allowed for an immersive experience.
The box opens with a letter from Jonathan Anderson, followed by an inspiration booklet. The key looks and bags are offered in boxed format for a 360 degree view, including bird’s eye, while the full lookbooks of both men’s collection and women’s precollection are printed in paper blocks. Shoes are photographed as postcards; sunglasses are printed on perforated paper for pop up and try on. Next come the colour and fabric cards, with real swatches for reference, while a texture card reproduces in embossing the woven leather of a signature top. The pattern of one of the key pieces comes next, allowing recreation of the circle top at home. The same pattern can be downloaded online. In addition, a portable cardboard record player allows reproduction of the soundtrack, registered at the LOEWE Getafe Factory with voiceover by Dr James Fox.
The collection itself carries the same distinct design cues of Loewe’s past seasons. Silhouettes are oversized and billowing, yet each look has a certain softness to it as the collection deploys a story of curves, swing and loops – what goes around comes in rounds. Textures are juxtaposed off one another: matte with shiny, ribbed with raffia, and as always the looks almost appear as artwork, almost too beautiful to wear. Abstraction swoops with utilitarianism.
Finishing off the key looks are accessories playing off archival pieces with a renewed twist. Slip on loafers and flow runners round out the footwear offering for Spring/Summer 2021, while drawstring backpacks, basket totes and the familiar puzzle bag are seen in updated iterations.
The show-in-a-box was accompanied by a 24-hour agenda which included performances, guest speakers and conversations with expert craftsman and women into the making of key pieces. You can still view this on the Loewe Instagram, here.