Howl’s Moving Castle comes to life for the final collection from Loewe and Studio Ghibli.
Over the years, Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson has come to be known for creating imaginative yet luxurious collaborations, most notably with one of the most acclaimed animation studios in the world, Studio Ghibli.
In 2021, Anderson released the first of the Ghibli collections; Loewe x My Neighbor Totoro. A year later, a collaboration inspired by the seminal movie Spirited Away was released. With each collection, creator Hayao Miyazaki’s fantastical characters found new life as wearable art, while bringing youth and childlike whimsy to a more typically serious area in fashion.
This February, the final installment of the brand’s partnership with Studio Ghibli arrives in stores. The Loewe x Howl’s Moving Castle collection takes the technically innovative aspects of the film and creatively transposes these details onto intricately crafted pieces and signature classics.
“Blending hand-drawn and digital animation, Howl’s Moving Castle is technically innovative,” Anderson writes, “exemplifying the power of craft as a bridge between the old and new, a creative approach that Loewe is proud to share.”
In the collection, Anderson says that they “pushed creativity with bold, intricately crafted pieces designed to bring the world of the film, literally, to life.”
Bringing The Characters To Life
The film’s key characters, including Sophie, Howl, and Calcifer, among others, are added to Loewe’s clothing and accessories through expert techniques. “Drawn as leather or shearling intarsia, turned into embroidery on leather or textile, decorated with crystal and stud inlays on leather,” Anderson explains.
Miyazaki’s artworks appear on Loewe’s classic bags, such as the Puzzle, Flamenco, Hammock, Amazona, Luna, and Bracelet pouch. On clothing, they appear as painted details, accentuated with things like appliqué, raffia, and feathers, or as secret scenes revealed within jacket linings.
However, the collection’s pièce de résistance is the Castle itself. In the movie, Howl’s castle is something of a goliath; a moving, almost living structure powered by the fire demon Calcifer. From the outside, it appears to be a steampunk amalgamation of a traditional brick castle, a ship, and a submarine.
Loewe takes inspiration from this in recreating their own castle. According to Anderson, the castle bag is built out of remnants and scraps from their bag production, resulting in a sculptural collage handcrafted fully out of luxury leather and hardware.