A#20 curator Pierpaolo Piccioli incited a monumental artistic dialogue for the Valentino Haute Couture AW2021-22 collection, inviting 15 artists to create garments directly linked with works of contemporary art.
LOEWE Spring Summer 2021
SHOW IN A BOX
As seen by Francois Quillacq
The Irish designer Jonathan Anderson conceived his LOEWE SS 2021 men’s runway and women’s pre-collection presentation as a ‘show-in-a-box’ — effectively a comprehensive, tangible representation of the primary elements of a fashion show and collection presented in the format of a classic toile archive box. Designed in collaboration with Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak of M/M (Paris), the box presented a selection of the season’s silhouettes, bags and accessories as cardboard cutouts complemented by tactile paraphernalia that allowed the recipient to re-construct a miniature version of a fashion show that never happened.
The LOEWE ‘Show-in-a-box’ contains a structured set of components designed to represent a 360° idea of the fashion show experience, from a Paul Cadmus-inspired silver gilded paper invitation in the brand’s customary poster format to a manual vinyl player featuring a ‘Sound of LOEWE’ disc that played a spoken word soundtrack narrated by the British art historian James Fox. A folding book revealed the imaginary show set replete with pop-up shrubbery, and a selection of still lifes by Thue Nørgaard printed on perforated cards created freestanding models with the backs, sides and fronts of garments designed to scale perfectly with the accompanying scenography. A plethora of other cut-out creations included pin-hole cardboard sunglasses styles, a laser-cut sheet mimicking the woven leather craft of Idoia Cuesta, a footwear flip book, and a sachet filled with black card silhouettes representing a selection of profiles of over 150 design, atelier, development, and raw materials workers at LOEWE.
Unveiled above in projections by Francois Quillacq, the package also contained an encyclopaedia-style text booklet citing collection inspirations without the visuals themselves, allowing curious types to research the brand’s references themselves. They represent a sweeping study of 20th century dance, historical costume and modern sculpture — a discreet mood board of the sorts that might be found backstage and pored over by a few eager journalists. This time, it is just a simple Google search away.
– A photograph of dancer Valeska Gert performing her ‘Dance in Orange’ at Atelier Leopold in Munich, 1918, from the Deutsches Tanzarchiv, Cologne.
– A photograph of writer and poet Hugo Ball wearing Marcel Janco’s ‘Sorcerer’ costume to perform his poem ‘Karawane’ on the stage at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, 1916, from the Swiss Literary Archives, Bern.
– A photograph of dancer Loïe Fuller, circa, 1902, photographed by Frederick W. Glasier, retrieved from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
– A photograph of art collectors Dorothy & Herbert Vogel wearing Judith Shea’s ‘King and Queen’ ensemble at the opening reception of ‘From Minimal to Conceptual Art: Works from the Dorothy & Herbert Vogel Collection’, by Phil Charles, May 25, 1994, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
– A photograph by Walter Pfeiffer of two profiles with hair styled in chignons and masked with latex, untitled, 1974-1981, Galerie Sultana, Paris.
– A photograph of sculptor Bruna Esposito, 1994, photographer and origin unknown.
– Two paintings by Diego Vélazquez titled ‘The Waterseller of Seville’, respectively dated 1618 and 1620 and on display at Uffizi Gallery, Florence, and the Waterloo Gallery of Apsley House, London.
– A painting by El Greco titled ‘Saint John the Evangelist’, 1608, on display at the Museo del Prado, Madrid, gifted in 1921 by the Collector César Cabañas Caballero.
– A sculpture by Claes Oldenburg titled ‘Gian Soft Swedish Light Switch’ (Ghost Version), 1996, from the collection of Museum Ludwig, Cologne.
A Magazine Curated By photography & video:
Loewe Show In A Box credits:
Creative Direction: Jonathan Anderson and M/M (Paris)
Styling: Benjamin Bruno
Photography: Thue Nørgaard
Design: M/M (Paris)
Soundtrack narrator: Dr James Fox
Silhouette artist: Igor Kucinic
Pop-up development: Mike Malkovas
Record player development: Daniel Mason
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