Jonathan Anderson invites us into Hayao Miyazaki’s magical universe for the third and last time!
Hayao Miyazaki movies have a structure as if they are set in a universe created from magical reality. While distracting the people from reality with fantastic themes, they also open a seminal door to display the indispensable values of Japanese culture. Since Castle in the Sky (1986), these animations by Studio Ghibli have given us the sense of the escape that we have needed ever since, yet especially in the last few years. “The most important reason that we collaborated with Hayao Miyazaki movies and Studio Ghibli is the concept of the world and adventure as seen through the eyes of children. It couldn’t have been a more timely partnership when the world was going through uncertainty,” stated Jonathan Anderson, creative director of Loewe, when their first collaboration was launched three years ago. That time, the brand also wished for us having fun like children again.
Like many players in high fashion, Loewe and Jonathan Anderson are not in a race to collaborate with other fashion houses or brands from different segments and disciplines. Jonathan Anderson collaborates when he has a personal connection and if he can look at from an emotional perspective. For his own brand JW Anderson, he has only ever collaborated with Moncler on the Genius project, so when he has been combining his eccentric world with Studio Ghibli’s enormous colorful atmosphere for the last three years, and everyone is fascinated.
Besides Jonathan Anderson is an obsessive film enthusiast and reader. His collaborations are often related to cultural areas. Previously, he designed a capsule collection dedicated to Oscar Wilde for his own brand, and the Fall / Winter 2021-22 Loewe collection is realized with Danielle Steel, one of the best-selling authors of all time.
Let’s come to the collaboration with the Studio Ghibli collaboration that goes to 2021. In the first edition of this creative partnership, which is known as a trilogy, the brand released its collection through a movie, My Neighbor Totoro. The movie is telling the story of two little sisters who move to a village in their troubled times and the bond they form with the forest spirits and Totoro, the supernatural hero of the movie. When looking at the synopsis, the story built by Anderson for this collection becomes clearer. “The feelings I had when I first saw the movie were reflected in the collection”, says Anderson. That’s why, the pieces have a colorful and adventurous structure. Meanwhile, My Neighbor Totoro is a true accurate beginning. The character is not only one of Ghibli’s most recognizable characters, but also symbol and even the mascot of this universe.
After a year, Loewe presented us another collection with a new Ghibli film. This time, the movie in focus was Spirited Away, which is one of the best films of the 21st century. The movie again stars a little girl. Chihiro finds herself in a different universe by passing through the door of an interesting building in her new town. Just like Alice who visits Wonderland. There was a slightly more emotional reason why this movie was included in the second part of the trilogy. “It’s my favorite movie,” Anderson said in an interview with British Vogue. As for the target audience of the collection, the pieces were made for die-hard fans who unconditionally accept the universe created by Miyazaki. In a sense, it was for those who were obsessively passionate about the movie and Ghibli productions.
And the sad ending! Instead of reinterpreting some of the other popular films produced by the studio, Anderson and Ghibli opted for a short collaboration that cannot be forgotten (despite all the financial success and the popularity of both brands on social media). In the movie, The Walking Castle, we follow the days of an insecure young girl in a walking castle that she suddenly enters on an adventure to break a spell. In the collection, we see the main characters of the film, Howl, Sophie and Calcifer, embroidered in vibrant colors on the pieces with printing, embroidery and leather inlay techniques.
Anderson summarizes this collection, in which fashion and movies come together, as “fantasies and emotions”. A major campaign is also shot for this grand finale. Juergen Teller made Loewe’s global brand ambassador Taylor Russell the main character of the story with supermodels Rianne Van Rompaey and Hyunji Shin.
Meanings of These Collections
Actually, the creative process in high fashion and the magical world of cinema have more in common than we thought. Both create alternate realities while telling a story, allowing us to see the world in a different way. In short, they create fantasies.
Studio Ghibli’s films are renowned for their poetic narratives and sometimes even their powerful messages. Ghibli’s traditional narratives and animated films with a strong spirituality evoke a sense of nostalgia in modern audiences. The art directors of these films are true artists. Their aesthetic world creates a unique narrative and an enviable color palette. On the internet, there are fan pages dedicated specifically to Ghibli movies, from the landscapes to the food served. Loewe is all about creating unique quality and products that support traditional values through craft, just like Studio Ghibli…
Loewe has also established an institution for this purpose: The Loewe Foundation, a private cultural foundation established in 1988 by Enrique Loewe Lynch, the fourth generation of Loewe’s founding family. Today, under the direction of his daughter Sheila Loewe, the foundation continues to encourage creativity in poetry, dance, photography, arts and crafts, support educational programs and preserve heritage. In 2002, the Foundation was even awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts, the highest honor bestowed by the Spanish government. Loewe also continues to recognize and support international craftspeople who demonstrate an exceptional ability to create objects of outstanding aesthetic value with the annual Craft Prize.
Exclusive for Collections
Of course, you may not be a big fan of Studio Ghibli or Loewe. Yet the pieces in these limited-edition collections are objects of desire. So much so that, the first collection in 2021 was sold out even before it went on general sale, and as soon as the official sale started, the items were already on sale at exorbitant prices on second-hand sites.
Everyone is happy about this collaboration. There is nothing to criticize, nothing to knit brows. It instills pure joy and most importantly, you feel that it was done right.
The collections feature everything: T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, shirts… However, the pieces that really blow everyone’s mind are usually the accessories. Sometimes in the form of characters like a sculpture, sometimes with the characters embroidered on the products in the form of graphic prints, the bags are the “it” pieces that sell out.
If you are in London today, you are one of the lucky few. Because Selfridge is organizing a special event to introduce this collection. Fans of the brand and Miyazaki’s magical characters can teleport themselves to this anime series starting February 2.