There was something darker about this show - both literally and metaphorically. Firstly, guests were seated in windowless rooms that were pitch black. The show happened first thing in the morning – I just went with it. Another guest sadly tripped and hurt herself – afterwards, another guest told me that the blackout was a reference to the dark rooms found in gay clubs. The most irreverent of possible meanings behind the decision to omit any light in the room was juxtaposed with the most devout. A ceremonial gong sounded - and we then sat in the dark in silence. Anderson has used a hypnosis counseling session as a soundtrack before, so this seemed apt. It parodied a morning sit meditation within a monastery.
There was a touch of the McQueen about this show – hence, the metaphorical darkness. The only light visible in the room before the show – apart from some helpful PRs with torches – were little spotlights that shone on delicate orchids sat on little shelves. It was very Victorian. There was a mysterious little booklet put on seats entitled You Can’t Take It With You. Lots of orchids were catalogued at the front of the publication, only for there to be blank spaces on each page, next to their corresponding numbers. On the runway, Victorian references arrived in sepia toned checked shirt dresses, nightdresses and white princess sleeve poufy white dress. Look 25, where the show really took off, comprised of a buttercup leather jacket, with blouse-like gathered sleeves strapped in a sunny gothic style. This is the second time this week that I have seen a design house veer super close to the Burberry tartan (the other one was Maison Margiela). This now trademarked check is also very similar to the tartan called the Thompson Camel. Is this just all part of the postmodern playful mish-mashing of brands? Like an unofficial black market version of any above board collaboration, I say go for it. How Burberry can even trademark a tartan is beyond me. With Loewe currently favouring the Dior 'New Look' as one of its key shapes, Alexander McQueen’s own tireless use of the 'New Look' silhouette within his own work – as well as McQueen’s natural love of Scottish checks, and the gothic Victorian vibe - certainly stirred up a few ghosts. There were also some really nice fairisle knits later on in the collection. The one with 'Loewe' spelled out within its intarsia pattern was the cutest way to do a logo I have seen all season.
In the spirit of Scottish independence – and Scotland’s overwhelming desire to stay part of the EU – Anderson connected the dots between 'The Land of Scots' and Loewe’s Spain, via Looks 46, 52, and 54, where flamenco polka dots gave rise to tartan check or fairisle knits. The biggest takeaway from this collection though was stripes. Look 28 will be the go-to look of the season. Like a magical clothes moth, which had devoured a seaside deckchair, it also left panels of Anderson-ian paisley swirls in its path.
There may have been a loaf of bread on a hat, but some of these girls definitely looked like they could have done with a bite or two. One girl’s body looked fairly shrouded in a strapless dress. There was also a touch of sensationalising parts of a women’s body, so to de-sexualise her as female. It’s not really in line with this newfound wonderful woman at Loewe. The beautiful woman who wore Look 14 wore a plissé silver caped top that emphasised the middle of her chest as being graphically stripped to the bone much more than you can see in pictures. Head down, it pretty much looked like she could have been Bowie walking by. And he once lived on nothing on but red peppers, milk and cocaine for six months. The genderless position is not about having women look like waifish men. (Phallic-centric feminism rears its head yet again.)