2 minute read

Loewe 'Baskets' Exhibition at Salon del Mobile.Milan Captivates

The welcoming archway of the Loewe 'Baskets' Installation | Image by Helen Siwak

The stone-lined streets of the Quadrilatero d'Oro jostled with rushes of people - all trying to get by those stopping to smoke a cigarette or chat, others in the street dodging scooters and pedicabs. Each in search of the next 'must-visit' location as dictated in the Fuorisalone 2019 Guide - which happened to contain 1,350 events.

Amidst this chaos, is the courtyard of Via Montenapoleone 21. A quiet oasis of bamboo, leather, stone, and silk, and home to the most memorable exhibition at Milan Design Week - luxury handbag designer Loewe's 'Baskets.'

Visitors enter under a bent bamboo archway laden with the brands in-demand straw totes, they emerge to two rows of interpretative woven art pieces and gently fluttering ecru quilts. The stillness of the display soothes even the most anxious, as the details of the items weaving, calligraphy, and hand quilting, quickly mesmerized.

Rows of Loewe baskets for sale at the installation | Image by Helen Siwak

The exhibition is divided into Inspiration and Collection, where displayed pieces celebrate the different styles and techniques of a diverse selection of artists and craftspeople.

A simple two-row exhibition area for the Loewe leather objets d'Art | Image courtesy Salon del Mobile.Milano

Jennifer Zurick hails from rural Kentucky, the AmaXhosa weavers are from Cape Town, with others participating from Japan, South Korea, and Ireland, each with an in-depth knowledge of their disciplines and adding their distinct styles to the project.

Two years in the making, the project is comprised of eleven international artists. The installation is the brainchild of Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director of the Spanish luxury house, which invited and encouraged the eleven master weavers to create limited edition objets d'art using Loewe leather.

Anderson sought to elevate craft to an artistic level inspired by the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize 2018 competition, at which nominee Joe Hogan created large-scale woven pods for the Loewe Spring/Summer 2019 show.   

Existing Loewe bags, including Puzzle, Gate, Cushion, and Vertical Totes were adapted and distorted by the artisans creating new silhouettes and functions for each.   

Each piece a beautiful new look born of techniques and materials so old.