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Loewe joins Louis Vuitton and Burberry in the yearning for busy, sweaty raves. This is layered with notes on gender-neutral dressing and gay identity. The Loewe rave is overt, yet inclusive: in sporty silhouettes, saccharine neon colours, men’s skirts and dresses, and leather parkas - Jonathan Anderson references what he has seen in Ibiza clubs and Instagram feeds.

Anxiety and “awkward beauty” drive the collection that hits screens for men’s fashion week as raves spring up IRL across UK cities, where some youngsters would rather risk their lives - and fines - than go another year without partying. This law breaking is stress inducing, but also retains the sex appeal it once had for its pioneers in the 1980s. The second Summer of Love is arguably upon us. For these people, existing in the shadows or in the bright lights of a dance floor still feels like the safest option – rather than closeting themselves indoors.

Loewe speaks to the significance of rave for LGBTQ+ people particularly, from Jonathan Anderson’s perspective as a gay man, who has been inspired by the energy and freedom of Ibiza since taking over at Loewe in 2013. This collections’ key look is a matching vest top and shorts set; made in white with black, bubble gum pink and aqua inking respectively. They feature masculine crowded beach scenes painted by Florian Krewer, the German, New York-based artist. Krewer also collaborates on the Loewe SS22 book with David Sims’ photography, as well as the print for this collection. The vest and shorts set seems to reference beach cruising - another hope for the future that is finally being realised as travel, parties and embraces return.

The collection for Spring Summer 2022 is eclectic. Loewe invites night-sky black, unclean whites and artificially sweetened pinks, purples and limes to drip over the easy shapes. Dresses hide as much as they reveal and one t-shirt features a nude muscular male model crouched over a vinyl turn table wearing a small bag. The music for the show might not scream rave, but the garments certainly do.

Bella Spratley

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