On Friday, Spanish luxury house Loewe amped up its aesthetic ode to the Balearic Island of Ibiza, with the release of the music track Close to Paradise. Produced in collaboration with Soulwax, and the renowned runway sound director Michel Gaubert (who works regularly with creative director Jonathan Anderson on Loewe’s show soundtracks and those of his eponymous London-based label), the release is a hazy tempo building track, which features spoken testimonies from four Ibizan locals about their bohemian and hedonistic experiences of the sun-kissed island, during the seventies and eighties.
It’s the final creative crescendo in a S/S 2017 season that has celebrated the creativity of Ibiza. In May, Loewe released an ebuillent capsule collection in collaboration with Paula’s Boutique, the legendary Ibizan store founded in 1972 by Armin Heinemann. Naming the store after his daughter, it was renowned for exuberant and nature-inspired designs, featuring prints of water lilies and hibiscus flowers, energetic dancing figures and frothy feather embellishments.
These archive prints and garment designs were translated into a capsule collection featuring bohemian billowy dresses, colourful patched denim and parrot detail leather accessories, now housed in a pop-up boutique at Ibiza’s Museu d’Art Contemporani d’Eivissa (MACE). The pop-up, which runs until 30 August is the third edition of the house’s annual summer shop, and its interior features colourful floral wallpaper and vases overflowing with bright blooms. It’s a nod to the original layout of Paula’s Boutique, which in Heinemann’s words featured ‘floral material glued to the ceiling, and everyday, fresh flowers.’
The museum also plays host to an exhibition of archive Paula’s Boutique pieces, from squiggle print dresses to hats adorned with long feathers, fabric flowers and miniature skulls, marabou trimmed gowns to bright obi-style belts. Many of these signature designs, including asymmetric dresses, were happy accidents. ‘I never made a proper collection’, Heinemann says. ‘I’d make one dress, sell it, get material, make two dresses, buy more material…’
Anderson first encountered Paula’s Boutique during childhood holidays to Ibiza. It was a store that gained global renown, famed for hosting exuberant fashion shows with operatic soundtracks and ballet performances, and welcomed shoppers including Valentino Garavani, Jean Paul Gaultier and Freddy Mercury. Beachside lifestyles have attracted Anderson since he took the creative helm of Loewe in 2014- he used an archive 1997 Vogue Italia photoshoot lensed by Steven Meisel, featuring models lounging on sand dunes for his debut campaign for the house.
The Paula’s Boutique collaboration is a fortuitous one, as Heinemann never actually expected the store, which finally shut its doors in the nineties, to have longevity. ‘I opened the shop because I had a little bit of money and saw it was a good investment,’ he says. ‘I was going to sell it again when the season started…Jonathan understands our way of being with nature and the fame the boutique had. I think the collaboration is a great adventure.’