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Loewe's Final Collab With Studio Ghibli is A Whimsical Adieu

Almost handcrafted virtual reality in wearable form

Since its founding in 1985, Studio Ghibli has amassed a collection of twenty-three quirky movies and has remained at the leading-edge of pop culture by offering us all a world of escape from the grind of everyday life. The popular anime animation studio is continuing to grow, with a new theme park in Japan.

The animation studio is now working with the upscale clothing company Loewe on one last project that draws inspiration from Howl's Moving Castle. It only felt appropriate to work together once more in light of the Spirited Away Collection's enormous success.

This latest project from the Spanish leather company and the Japanese animation studio is titled Loewe x Howl's Moving Castle.

The selection focuses on the 2004 animated movie that received an Oscar nomination, Howl’s Moving Castle, by Hayao Miyazaki, a Japanese animator, filmmaker, and manga artist.

A collection that transitions from bags and small leather accessories to clothing, including sweatshirts, sweaters, T-shirts, jackets, jeans, silk shirts, skirts, and shoes, now features characters from the movie, such as Sophie, Howl, the fire demon Calcifer, Markl, Heen, Turnip Head, and the Witch of the Waste.

Leaning on Loewe's expertise, the figures are created using a variety of materials, including shearling intarsia, raffia, feathers, stitching, appliqué, and drawings on leather. While additional designs are appliquéd and printed on bags like the Puzzle, Flamenco, Hammock, Amazona, and Luna in addition to the Bracelet pouch, the titular castle itself appears, patchworked from leftovers of Loewe's renowned leather.

According to Loewe's creative director Jonathan Anderson, "Blending hand-drawn and digital animation, Howl’s Moving Castle is technically innovative (…) It’s almost like handcrafted virtual reality in wearable form."

This comes after two prior collaborations that achieved worldwide acclaim: Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro.

“The world we are living in needs a counteract: not as an escape, but as a different outlook, Anderson explains why Studio Ghibli's work is still so timely in his statement.

"This, to me, is what Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films for Studio Ghibli are about: a commentary on the moment and an alternative to it, always heartfelt, fulfilling, full of fantasy and sentiment. This is also the reason why the final instalment of our collaboration with Studio Ghibli feels more timely than ever.”

Juergen Teller was hired by Loewe to photograph the advertising campaign in honor of the occasion. The result is a series of whimsical photos featuring Taylor Russell, Rianne Van Rompaey, Oliver O'Sullivan, Hyunji Shin, and a sheep on a white background. 

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