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Loewe chairs at Milan design week

Loewe turns classic stick chairs into "sculptural objects"

Fashion brand Loewe has worked with global artisans to create a collection of wooden chairs decorated with woven materials including foil, shearling and paper that was shown as part of Milan design week.

Jonathan Anderson, Loewe's creative director, said the aim of the installation was to transform the simply-constructed stick chairs into something new.

Blue tasselled chair by Loewe
Loewe presented a series of sculptural chairs during Milan design week

"Chairs are often seen as humble, everyday items and I wanted to present them in a new way, transforming them into a one-of-a-kind, almost sculptural object," he told Dezeen.

"The stick chair, the focus of our Salone presentation this year, has a deceptively simple construction and I wanted to play with this, transforming and subverting its shape through tactile weaving."

Colourful chair at Palazzo Issimbardi
Colourful yarn contrasted against wooden chairs

The 30 chairs were designed by Anderson in collaboration with artisans around the world and showcased during Milan design week at the Palazzo Isimbardi in central Milan.

Here, they decorated the palazzo's courtyard, which was also filled with an installation of fly agaric mushrooms that seemed to sprout from the ground.

Fly agaric mushroom sculptures by Jonathan Anderson
The installation also featured fly agaric mushrooms

Each chair was designed using different weaving techniques and materials, ranging from traditional leathers and raffia to more unusual ones such as foil and felt.

"This project is all about showcasing different weaving techniques and I wanted to select materials that would allow us to approach this in a playful way," Anderson said.

"Some, such as leather and raffia are traditionally associated with weaving and with Loewe, whereas dyed shearling and the reflective foil of thermal blankets are totally unexpected, both in texture and colour," he added.

"Using these unconventional materials and bringing them together in dialogue provides an interesting interplay and allows us to fully explore the possibilities of weaving."

Woven chairs on show at Milan design week
The chairs were made by artisans across the world

The different weaves were used to decorate stick chairs, a type of chair that is traditionally constructed so that all upright pieces are fixed into the seat and held in place with a wedge.

Out of the 30 chairs used for the project, 22 were original antique pieces and eight were made for the project by a British atelier that specialises in stick chairs.

Colourful chairs with felt details
They came in many colourful designs

Many of the designs also feature unexpectedly bright colours, including a bright blue chair with long tassels and a multicoloured chair decorated with fluffy yarn.

The final versions showcased in Milan included a silver chair made from the foil used for thermal blankets and two armchairs covered in bright felt fabrics in contrasting hues.

Loewe chair at Milan design week
One chair was decorated with silver foil

Also on show as part of the exhibition were eight Lloyd Loom chairs made by Belgian company Vincent Sheppard (main image), as well as a collection of bags and leather goods informed by the materials and techniques that were used to embellish the chairs.

Loewe was one of a number of big fashion houses that showed at Milan design week this year. Also exhibiting was Hermès, which created a caged homeware collection, and Louis Vuitton, which presented a bulging coral-shaped pavilion.

The photography is courtesy of Loewe.

Loewe Chairs was on display as part of Milan design week during 17-23 April. For more events, exhibitions and talks in architecture and design visit Dezeen Events Guide.

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Loewe chair at Milan design week
Loewe chair at Milan design week
Loewe at Milan design week
Loewe chair at Milan design week
Loewe at Milan design week
Loewe at Milan design week
Loewe at Milan design week
Loewe at Milan design week
Loewe at Milan design week
Bags by Loewe at Milan design week