To show, or not to show, that is the true question - for this season, at least. London lead the pack with a roster of presentations that required its own schedule; Milan followed with a high-profile static launch for Versace's revived Versus line; while New York was the latest to showcase video after video as alternative to flashy catwalk theatrics. In Paris, Loewe was the big name moving away from the catwalk - although, rather than turning its back per se, Loewe chose to step down. Instead of presenting on a catwalk sidelined with infamously hierarchical seating, Loewe showed their S/S 2010 collection via a clutch of micro-shows to an audience that thronged to within inches of the clothes. Ultimately, did this benefit the designer Stuart Vevers' vision? The answer is yes. Loewe is known for intricate, intimate work with leather - something which, while fully appreciated at close range, could not possibly be comprehended from a seat in the gods. How then to showcase Loewe's inimitable technique en masse? Allow the audience to bury their faces (metaphorically) in Vevers' laser-cut leather, printed suede shirt-dresses and wicked way with a butter-soft calfskin pencil skirt. The clothes were classic Loewe - exquisite skins, expertly worked and pepped up with next season's sports details. Flashes of bright orange popped on soft camel and butterscotch suede outerwear, while climbing-rope snaked around waists and through eyelets in a cognac leather sack-dress. Vevers stated, after the second of four shows, that the aim was to create leather clothing for summer. Hence the powermesh and silk-fine suede dresses, sliced short and full, and cut away at the back, and that standout laser-cut kid, frothing in layers to merge leather and lace, or running up and down the edge of skins to fetter the seams on a taut little skirt. Every seam, every line, was perfect - thus Vevers' willingness to expose the intricacies of this workmanship to scrutiny, perhaps. This kind of show isn't for everyone. For Loewe, it's a knockout success.
Loewe is known for intricate, intimate work with leather - something which, while fully appreciated at close range, could not possibly be comprehended from a seat in the gods.