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Follow Me To Madrid: A Week With Loewe

From Loewe's factory production line and the surreal "Past, Present and Future" exhibition to the best cured ham I've ever eaten – here's what I was up to in the Spanish capital.
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As this trip to Madrid marked my first time ever stepping on Spanish soil, it goes without saying that it was one filled with immense anticipation and excitement. Upon arriving, I immediately noticed the vibrant colours of the city, from the warm hues of the buildings to the red and gold tones in my room at the Hotel Ritz. When the sun shines on them, it gives off such a beautiful glow that I found myself snapping photos on nearly every street and corner.

The glow extended to Casa Loewe, Loewe’s brand new flagship boutique in the Salamanca district. While outside was golden from the sun, inside was filled with vibrant colour. From the interiors and the art pieces to the floating spiral staircases and the blooms at the in-store flower shop – called Loewe Flores – everything in the three-storey space is curated to fit creative director Jonathan Anderson’s vision. The beauty continued at Loewe’s “Past, Present and Future” exhibition at Madrid’s Botanical Garden, where flora merged with photography by the legendary Steven Meisel and pieces from Loewe’s treasured nearly two-century-old archive.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of trip – besides the incredible Spanish cured ham, best I’ve ever had anywhere, which is saying a lot because I’m a cured ham addict – is my visit to Loewe’s production factory in city. There, I got to see firsthand all the careful work and craftsmanship that goes into making Loewe’s bags (including the one I was carrying that day). Not only did I get to see the masters at work as they selected, sliced and stitched the leather to make Loewe’s cult-favourite Puzzle bag, I also tried my hand at stamping its signature leather. I’ve never visited a luxury label factory before, so it was such a fun and eye-opening experience. It really makes me look at my bags in a new – and thankful – way.

Having followed Loewe closely over the recent years, it is interesting to be able to understand the house at a deeper and more all-rounded level, from the overall vision to the production and finally, to the pieces themselves. Of course, having my globetrotting peeps with me on the trip – you know who you are! – made it even more bittersweet to bid the Spanish capital goodbye. Well, there’s always next time. Till then, Madrid and Loewe!

 

Photos: YOYOKULALA.com, Tommy Ton

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