In Milan Design Week 2019, Loewe, the remarkable Spanish luxury fashion house, honored the most exquisite weaving techniques in its “Loewe Baskets” exhibition. This was the fifth project they organized in Salone Del Mobile and they described it as their “most ambitious instalment” yet. Hand quilting and calligraphy were also remembered.
This amazing showcase was a tribute to fine craftsmanship and basket making and was divided into two sectors: Inspiration and Collection. For Inspiration, Loewe invited 11 international talented artists and craftsmen to create a series of unique and exclusive objets d’art. Together, they brought to life a mesmerizing collection of bags, decorative objects, accessories, and one-of-a-kind pieces using Loewe’s main material, leather, and not the usual bamboo, cane, straw and rattan, with styles and aesthetics from all around the world.
The creative director Jonathan W. Anderson invited two of Japan’s illustrious bamboo master artisans, Jiro Yonezawa and Hafu Matsumoto. Collaborating with each other they created seven unique pieces which for the most part exchange their usual strips of bamboo for naturally dyed Loewe leather, although a few pieces were kept as an ode to the original craft.
Yonezawa sculpted the material into decorative cocoons of interwoven pieces, using cores made from styrofoam, wood and paper to replicate the usual integrity of his work. Meanwhile, Matsumoto created four baskets made of wide strips interlaced with different kinds of bamboo.
The collection was exhibited in a historic courtyard near to Loewe’s Milan store in the city’s fashion district of Montenapoleone. Among the roster of talents invited to be a part of this project we could find the self-described straw artist, Arko; the Irish basket maker, Joe Hogan; and the American-born rattan weaver, Deloss Webber. All three were known by Loewe thanks to past editions of the Loewe Craft Prize.
Loewe also comissioned several Spanish artisans to create leather pieces and acessories inspired by basketry.
Stay with us to find out more about Milan Design Week 2019, contemporary art, design and craftsmanship.
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