Photography by Jurgen Teller
Sizzling soot sprites (susuwatari), the wistfully endearing No Face (Kaonashi), and variations of Chihiro’s unsuspecting, doe-eyed face come together to adorn LOEWE’s latest collection—a collaboration with the acclaimed Studio Ghibli. From relaxed silhouettes to signature bags all popping in vibrant colors, Loewe’s capsule collection evokes a playful nostalgia for one of the most iconic animated films in history: Spirited Away. At its simplest form, Spirited Away follows the young protagonist, Chihiro, on a journey through the spirit world to free her parents.
LOEWE x Spirited Away is the Spanish fashion house’s second collaboration with Studio Ghibli, with the first being last January’s capsule collection inspired by My Neighbor Totoro. While many of Hayao Miyazaki’s films teem in abundance with a heartfelt warmth, Spirited Away in particular simultaneously deals with a raw confusion and sense of astray as Chihiro navigates through an unknown and seemingly hostile world—a feeling that many continue to identify with today. LOEWE’s collaboration with Studio Ghibli may not only choose to reflect this, but also the powerful moral message that emerges by the end of the film: the importance of balance, and the potential for good.
This collection brings in some of LOEWE’s classic styles—a teal mini Puzzle bag scattered with susuwatari, an Amazona bag with a portrait of the baffled greedy frog-spirit-bathhouse-worker, Aogaeru, and a small black Hammock bag with Kaonashi’s face plastered at its core. The Ready-To-Wear clothing collection consists of cotton hoodies and shirts printed with the mystical turquoise shades that paint the skies and waters in Spirited Away; and of scarves and hats dotted with the occasional cheeky-faced spirit.
The beloved characters of Spirited Away, from Haku, Boh, to sorceress Yubaba, are intricately incorporated into fabric through a diversity of materials and techniques: print, embroidery, appliqué, intarsia, or jacquard. The capsule also draws from a traditional Japanese stitching method called ‘boro’, which uses a simple running stitch to reinforce a textile item using scraps of fabric, fusing together an all-too-familiar kaleidoscopic fantasy.
Lauded for his mastery in meshing the realms of the spiritual, the realistic, and the whimsical, Hayao Miyazaki achieves this with his honest character developments, featuring an array of enchanting and genuine characters we come to know and love. Likewise, LOEWE emulates this deep connection to storytelling through its legacy of craftsmanship, which remains ever-present in the fashion house’s latest collaboration.
LOEWE x Spirited Away Drops Today, on Friday, January 7th.