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What’s “Growing” On with Loewe Spring 2022?

Welcome to the 88th insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode we dig up the roots behind Loewe’s Spring 2023 show, a collaboration with Spanish designer Paula Ulargui Escalona.

Just last weekend, Loewe released their Spring 2023 collection. In Jonathan Anderson’s words, the show explored the “fusion of the organic and the fabricated”, weaving life into the seams of each item. In an age where technology is an extremity of the human body, the creative strived to plant a seed and reconnect, in a sense more literal that one can imagine.

The foot of this story lies in the hands of Paula Ulargui Escalona, a Spanish textile designer approached by Loewe five months prior. She had been developing a technique which allowed for botanical growth in a wearable form, requiring around the clock maintenance over twenty days. Residing in Spain, Escalona was tasked with perfecting each garment to its preferred length after export to Paris.

Loewe’s design team opted for chia plants and catswort seeds, which would propagate both a clustered and stiff appearance. In order to regulate the delicate growth, a polytunnel was constructed on the Parisian outskirts and monitored by Escalona herself. The time restrictive feats imposed large issues, such as potential damage or death. Talking to Vogue, she expressed her concerns, stating “You can check the colours of the leaves to guess what it is that they need – the most complex part is to be able to see all that and react fast.”

With such a large potential for failure, many would deem Loewe’s indulgence a gamble to say the least, but on Sunday a fusion between technology and nature would successfully walk the glaringly white runway. Denim, trenches, shoes and more sported the grassy look in full vibrance, seeming to branch off the legs and arms of each model.

The Spring 2023 collection reminds us of the fight for sustainability and grants an appreciation for the life around us. Through such high risk, Anderson continues to push contemporary boundaries, even if the items aren’t for sale.

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