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.
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, 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.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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