Boxing Up the Fashion Industry

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the world in unlikely and unexpected ways—and this week, it made its mark on the fashion industry.

Without being able to hold a traditional seasonal show, Spanish fashion house Loewe improvised and created a runway in a box.

The archival box, featuring creative direction by Jonathan Anderson and M/M, draws inspiration from Marcel Duchamp’s famous Museum in a Box, which contained 69 mini versions of his paintings.

“The show in a box is meant as a tangible action which occupies a moment in space and time,” Loewe writes. “As such it translates into another format the peculiar language of the fashion show.”

Upon opening the Loewe box, viewers find a letter from Anderson, along with an inspiration booklet. The 2021 Spring and Summer pieces emerge in blocks, offering a 360-degree view of them. Shoes take the form of postcards, and sunglasses as perforated paper try-ons. Color and fabric swatches are included, as is a portable cardboard record player—which, when manually spun, contains a soundtrack with a voiceover by British art historian James Fox. A pop-up set of the show completes the collection.

“The layered content within this time capsule invites the viewer to be actively engaged,” Loewe writes. “Tactility, which has been so severely erased by the impossibility of meeting if not through a screen, is particularly important.”

It’s worth noting that perseverance through pandemic isn’t new to the brand—after all, with nearly 200 years under its belt, it survived the Spanish Flu, as well.