Instead of struggling with the difficulties imposed by months-long confinement, Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson instructed his team to go wild. For example, an embroidery specialist was given carte blanche over the creation of hand-tooled broderie anglaise that’s been transformed into a series of angelic dresses with raised shoulders; the basket-weaving artist Idoia Cuesta has made an armour-like dome-shaped cape – out of calfskin.
Everyone was guided by Anderson’s penchant for Spanish and Dutch Old Masters silhouettes – there’s an extensive use of crinolines and boning to create the extravagant shapes. The result: a spirited middle finger to constraints – commercial and otherwise – and one of the best examples of creativity under pressure.
CHRISTOPHER JOHN ROGERS
Absent-minded doodling during lockdown was the start of Christopher John Rogers’ collection. “It’s the idea of energy emerging as something visceral as opposed to representational,” said this new boy wonder of American fashion when it was revealed last October. “It reminded me of drawing as a kid… I just wanted to have fun and express myself.”
He’s adeptly translated that into a pared-back collection without losing his trademark buoyant energy, expanding on his daywear with ’80s catsuits, ribbed-knit dresses and louche tailoring all outfitted in the juiciest of colours, bedazzlements and stripes. The effect? Like downing an icy glass of OJ on a hot summer day.
DRIES VAN NOTEN
“It has to be beauty that gives energy,” said Dries Van Noten of his inspiration during the preview of his collection last September. “Not the beauty that makes you think or dream or long for the past and things like that.” Exemplifying that ethos are plenty of breezy, wardrobe building pieces like racerback dresses, silk shirts and crisp shorts – all elevated with energetic prints courtesy of a collaboration with the Len Lye Foundation (Lye’s a New Zealand artist known for his colourful, experimental films and sculptures in the ’20s and ’30s). Think beautiful things that bring the beach to you if you can’t get to one.
A version of this article first appeared in the March 2021 No-Rules edition of FEMALE