loewe, baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle

Outside of the Loewe atelier, the stone-lined streets of the Quadrilatero d’Oro jostled with rushes of people. All trying to get by those stopping to smoke 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 contained 1,350 events).

loewe, baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle
Overwhelming selection of the seasons hautest bags | Image by Helen Siwak

Amidst this chaos, in the courtyard of Via Montenapoleone 21, is a quiet oasis of bamboo, leather, stone, and silk. Undoubtedly, the most memorable exhibition at Milan Design Week is 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.

baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle

loewe, baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle
Basketweave technique incorporating organic objects | Image by Helen Siwak
baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle
Detailing of basketweave technique by Japanese artist | 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. Jennifer Zurick hails from rural Kentucky, 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 almost a dozen 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.

loewe, baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle

baskets, milan fashion week, helen siwak, vancouver, bc, vancity, yvr, made in italy, ecoluxluv, folioyvr, luxury, lifestyle
Open-air gallery at Milan Fashion Week of Loewe installation | Images by Loewe

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.

Author Profile

Helen Siwak
Helen Siwak
Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Communications, publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and multiple digital lifestyle blogs. She is a content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist in the luxury lifestyle niche. She is a regular content contributor to Retail-Insider and has a vast freelance portfolio including Boulevard English & Chinese editions, Indulge, and Montecristo Magazine. When not attending high-profile events in Vancouver's 'Luxury Zone’ or on assignment abroad, she is honing her plant-based cooking skills and caring for her rescues. helen@ecoluxluv.com