Loewe invents a new way of parading: a “show” in a box


His proposal, inspired by Marcel Duchamp, is added to the new initiatives of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci or Saint Laurent

Loewe has presented his spring-summer 2021 men’s collection in an extremely creative alternative format he has called show-in-a-box. It was a classic 50s style filing box, with internal dividers that treasured everything that could be seen, heard, perceived and touched in the show that “imagined” took place yesterday Sunday at noon. In Loewe they have shown that there are other ways of parading in the times of the Covid-19, uniting tradition and technology.

The fact is that anyone who thinks that fashion will stand still is confused. Jonathan W. Anderson, creative director of Loewe, has taken the idea from Marcel Duchamp’s famous boxes, those Boîtes-en-valises he sold in America, which included a whole series of drawings, silk-screen prints, photographs, miniatures and small installations with which the great artist tried to create small portable museums. Launched from 1936 to 1966 by subscription and initially produced by hand by Duchamp himself, these boxes condensed the essence of his work.

Contemporary Craftsmanship

“I didn’t want to go back to the parades yet, but to promote crafts and traditions in a contemporary way. I wanted to give importance to architectural volumes and unite clothes and bags as if they were one piece,” Anderson says in the video presentation of his show. Each box sent to the press and guests included large cut-outs of the collection’s eyewear, cards with the shoe collection, a colour chart showing the softness of the chosen ranges, or beautifully arranged fabric samples.

A personal letter from Jonathan Anderson, photos of the garments in the collection, a replica of the parade’s backdrop, paper sculptures to be mounted personally and even a record in which the sound of Loewe’s workshop in Madrid could be heard with a rudimentary cardboard and a needle, completed the surprising physical kit sent to the home as if it were a post-war spy case.

Digital support

The show-in-a-box was completed with a great series of digital contents on Instagram and the brand’s website that were made public yesterday. Among others, a selection of home videos of the participants in the fictional front row, artists and singers from the five continents recorded in their environment were shown. Also distributed were videos explaining manufacturing processes, such as the centenary Japanese Shibori, a type of dyeing similar to tie dye sixty or the craftsmanship behind the clothes in braided straw. This presentation, which invited people to get involved in the project, both in terms of touch and visual appeal, was a real novelty after these months of confinement in which digital and evanescent life presided over the scene. A cahier of physical and unexpected style in today’s ethereal world.

This initiative follows the announcement of Louis Vuitton, which will develop a series of short parades almost without an audience in different cities around the world, expanding the universality of the brand without compromising the health of those attending. And it joins the novelties at Gucci and Saint Laurent, which are reducing their shows to twice a year but in a digital way, while other brands are showing their collections on Instagram or booking for better dates. The paradox of Lampedusa, changing everything so that nothing changes.