Saturday 23rd January

| BY Claudia Croft

Loewe: Menswear AW21

Over the course of the pandemic, Jonathan Anderson has re-defined what a fashion show can be with his ‘show in a box’, ‘show in a life-size poster’ and ‘show on a shirt’ concepts. Next up is his ‘show in a book’. With his collection inspired by author and artist Joe Brainard, the Loewe designer has gathered rarely seen artworks, comics, printed matter and ephemera created by Brainard throughout the 1960s and ’70s, and put them in a hardback volume.

Images of his AW21 are interspersed. Brainard’s graphics appear as prints and motifs throughout the collection. His famous pansy paintings are rendered in glorious hand knits. The artist’s connection to subculture and youth movements – he produced comics and album covers – is reflected in a patchwork of pieces referencing punk, beatniks, grunge and rave. Deftly splicing, dicing and mixing up his references. Anderson cherry-picks cult items from over half a century of cool: fantastic buckled bondage trousers, ultra baggy raver pants or grungey mohair knits.

It’s rich pickings and there are some wonderful surprises. How about trousers with wide side panels that open out to reveal Brainard’s artwork? Talk about making an exhibition of yourself. Extravagant and performative, they are the ultimate show and tell piece.

Photography by Thue Nørgaard.