Mesmerised by a Mantón

Mesmerised by a Mantón

Suuuuuuuny Spain?  Not a chance.  It is pissing down with rain in Barcelona and decidedly grey in Madrid but I'm happy as larry as I'm here in Spain to experience Loewe in its birthplace of Madrid as well to see the opening of its newly renovated store on Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona and the accompanying Galleria Loewe, just down the road.  That's a lot to take in from that one sentence and the bombarding onslaught of detailed picture posts are yet to come but for now, I had to pick out this one nugget of beauty for its sheer awe-inspiring prettiness.

IMG_7975

IMG_7939

At the Loewe Barcelona store opening last night, in addition to marvelling at the wonderfully designed (courtesy of Peter Marino) store on Paseo de Gracia, they had set up a demonstration of a traditional skilled embroiderer from Andalucia, sewing away at what can only be described as THE mantón de Manila to end all mantónes de Manila.

IMG_7943

IMG_7938

IMG_7981

The mant√≥n de Manila (literally translated, "shawl of Manila') is of course an iconic Spanish symbol, relating to the flamenco traditions of southern Spain and has inspired Loewe's silk scarves for generations.  In a strange East-West connection that parallels the growing success of Loewe in Asia right now, the manton actually dates back to the 16th century, where silk scarves embroidered with Taoist symbols were imported from China to Seville via Manila in the Philippines, which was then a Spanish colony.  The Chinese shawls were then adapted by Spanish craftsmen, where dragons and lotus flowers became local species of birds and flora such as roses, daisies and irises.

IMG_7989

IMG_7949

IMG_7979

This is a special made to order embroidered piece that will translate to more accessible silk mant√≥n de Manila inspired prints but as an ode to the artistry of embroidery, the shawl really is quite impressive.  Four women will take up to three months to complete this stupendous shawl.  I know, I know – yet another stat to clock up the "We value craftsmanship" campaign that high end brands with a veritable heritage and history love to spout out.  I'm a sucker for the sentiment though, especially when you see it in action here with needle and thread coming together to make something as special as this shawl.  I was mesmerised to the point where I stood there gawping at the woman for about five minutes.

IMG_7973

IMG_7956

IMG_7970

The colours of the floral design are loosely related to the silk prints that Spanish artist Antonio Ballester Moreno has designed for Loewe, that were displayed at an after party event last night.  Moreno has reinterpreted the more traditional mant√≥n de Manila designs with a slightly naive and upbeat spin that feels right for Loewe's foray into a "younger" brand image, in lieu of what creative director Stuart Vevers is doing at the house.

IMG_8250

IMG_8251

IMG_8256

IMG_8258
Designs by Antonio Ballester Moreno for Loewe that will be launching in May.

IMG_8253
The more traditional mantón-inspired designs by Loewe

Still, the lasting impression of the hand-embroidered silk shawl is palpable – and certainly is about as aspirational as it gets in craftsmanship.  To own something like this would be the surefire answer to the ubiquitous "What would you save from your closet if your house was on fire?"

IMG_7940

43 comments

Leave a comment
  1. Elisa

    2012-03-21 at 3:56 PM

    I adore the psychedelic bird and flower scarves, would look amazing with a simple white t-shirt and loose jeans. I seem to have a terrible weakness for printed scarves these days.
    Elisa Eymery
    Wandering Minds
    http://ourwanderingminds.com/

  2. Double-copncept

    2012-03-21 at 4:05 PM

    OMG!!!!!!!AMAZING
    NEW BLOG
    http://double-concept.blogspot.it/

  3. Serdane

    2012-03-21 at 4:06 PM

    So colorful ! I love it ! I’m always passionated by the spanish print and the universe which is so full of red, yellow and orange !
    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  4. Sabinna and David

    2012-03-21 at 4:13 PM

    WOW! this is amazing! such a hard detailed work, must take ages. but it looks so good!
    xx, Sabinna and David
    Broken Cookies

  5. Top Moumoute

    2012-03-21 at 4:33 PM

    Wawza, it really does make you appreciate the effort involved. Its all so delicate, neat and perfect!
    http://www.topmoumoute.tumblr.com

  6. Maia in Madrid!

    2012-03-21 at 5:11 PM

    Lovely post. Its nice to know someone with a good eye for fashion comes around these lands!
    WELCOME!!! or should I say BIENVENIDA!!!
    Hope you enjoy your stay!
    xxx
    Maia.

  7. POPTUCKSHOP

    2012-03-21 at 5:28 PM

    Funny how the focus is completely NOT on leathers, which is what they are famous for! This embroidery is extraordinary though, it puts to shame people like me who can barely sew a button back onto a shirt!

  8. susie_bubble

    2012-03-21 at 5:37 PM

    I’m saving the lovely leather stuff for later… visiting the Loewe factory tomorrow so watch out for a LEATHURRRRRRR heavy post or two soon!

  9. Sallytangle

    2012-03-21 at 7:04 PM

    They are breathtakingly beautiful!!!! You are very lucky!!!!xxx

  10. La Vie Quotidienne

    2012-03-21 at 7:23 PM

    OMGGGGG my dear…I’m from Barcelona…i have my studio in Consell de Cent street with Passeig de Gracia…near LOEWE….always i look a bus with JApan people buy a lot of things in this Place….Super shops arround this…CARTIER, SANDRO PAris, KIEHL’s, NIKE, etc…
    I’m very happy…enjoy.. make more pics…Love the Manton of Manila(the best)
    Today you can check my Alexander McQUENN Outfit:
    http://laviequo.blogspot.com/2012/03/queue.html
    XOXO from Munich
    La Vie Quotidienne
    http://www.laviequo.com

  11. Virginie

    2012-03-21 at 7:28 PM

    What an incredible task! one must be passionate, but the result really worth it! Love this embroidered jacket,
    Virginie/
    http://www.virginiepeny.com

  12. Chiqui

    2012-03-21 at 7:34 PM

    From ANDALUCÍA with LOVE!!! I hope you have enjoyed in Spain but, when are you going to come to annual fashion event SOUTH in Cádiz??? It would be a good chance you to know our warmy land with funny people.

  13. Frances

    2012-03-21 at 8:35 PM

    GReat pieces!! love things that are hand made!!
    http://thefashionhive.com

  14. Huliganjetta fashion

    2012-03-21 at 9:34 PM

    From Russia with love. Embroidery is our everything.

  15. Hudson East

    2012-03-21 at 10:13 PM

    Such beautiful, intricate detail! And the fact that it’s done by hand makes it priceless
    hudsoneast.blogspot.com

  16. Nathan

    2012-03-22 at 12:37 AM

    wow, just absolutely beautiful details!
    http://style-niche.blogspot.com

  17. Material Fixations

    2012-03-22 at 12:52 AM

    After these pictures, I feel I’ve over used the term “breath taking” until now. This litterally took my breath away. Sharp intke as I stare at the colorful meticulous flawless work.
    Material Fixations

  18. Petite Fashionista

    2012-03-22 at 1:48 AM
  19. Closeted dreamer

    2012-03-22 at 2:42 AM

    wow thats amazing, its rare people get to see behind the scenes and physically see how time consuming clothes are to make especially embroidery
    http://www.closeteddreamer.com

  20. Freya - Fashionable People

    2012-03-22 at 7:39 AM

    That is absolutely incredible! I love the colours and intricate patterns – great photos.

  21. nastya

    2012-03-22 at 8:03 AM

    amazing post!!! thank you!1

  22. january

    2012-03-22 at 12:03 PM

    that is some serious craftsmanship. it completely enthralls me when i think about the scale of task behind a garment like that, and the pure dedication and skill it must take. amazing.
    january, x
    jessicajanuary.com

  23. Thea vintage

    2012-03-22 at 3:44 PM

    Oh I really love this post. Fantastic craftwork. I really like this : – )
    http://theas-vintage.blogspot.com/

  24. Aleksa

    2012-03-22 at 6:27 PM

    Hi!! Today, I visit your website first time. I hear about Stylebubble from Polish version of Glamour (there were article about you) and I decided check….and I don’t regrets this decision. Your world is most colourful and interesting than my 🙂 and I love it. I going to visit Stylebubble every day.
    PS. Sorry for my English language, I can’t speak English very well.

  25. antique engagement rings

    2012-03-22 at 8:02 PM

    The design is fantastic!

  26. Natalie

    2012-03-22 at 8:48 PM

    These details are beautiful.
    cantaffordchanel.blogspot.com

  27. Janis Hawken

    2012-03-22 at 8:49 PM

    I am in color heaven with these photos!

  28. agnes szucs

    2012-03-22 at 9:07 PM

    nothing short of breathtaking.
    agnes
    http://iiiinspired.blogspot.com/

  29. Sarah

    2012-03-22 at 11:11 PM

    I went today. It was amazing! Thought I was in love with LV, not anmore because I need a Loewe. Check out my photos at SarahRoseWasHere.blogspot.com

  30. Cristián Pavez Díaz

    2012-03-23 at 4:54 AM

    Loewe is one of my favorite brands ever!! Congrats!!
    Greetings from Santiago, Chile.
    http://carethewear.wordpress.com
    @cristianpavezd on Twitter.
    Facebook: http://on.fb.me/uywe6X

  31. Mel Princess of the Jellyfish.

    2012-03-23 at 6:36 AM

    SHOES.
    If I had to save anything, it would be shoes.
    I will happily walk around butt naked if it meant that I got to save my shoes.

  32. alice

    2012-03-23 at 11:31 AM

    love the combination of colors!!! try more and create custom jeans

  33. Mimifashionland

    2012-03-23 at 12:00 PM

    this is so inspiring, love that pattern, must have a lot of patience to do this 😉

  34. Designer Clothing Online

    2012-03-23 at 1:11 PM

    Such a pretty pattern!

  35. Stills

    2012-03-23 at 3:06 PM

    So beautiful! Those prints are amazing!
    http://www.stills.rs

  36. Sophie

    2012-03-23 at 3:12 PM

    This really demonstrates such a high level of craftsmanship – from the design to the finished product! Beautiful!
    http://girlonbroughtonstreet.blogspot.co.uk/

  37. christine

    2012-03-23 at 5:34 PM

    where can I get one?

  38. Jane Alisa

    2012-03-23 at 6:06 PM

    Wow there are some wonderfully talented people in this world. I adore the pictures from start to finish. Xoxo

  39. maya.autumn

    2012-03-24 at 7:50 PM

    beautiful beautifulness of beautifulity.
    http://cottonmixblog.blogspot.com

  40. strandofsilk

    2012-04-03 at 12:49 PM

    Very inspiring post, really captures the beauty of the refined fabrics and the magnificient embroidery !

  41. Jatinda

    2012-06-17 at 10:46 AM

    Hi Susie. These are the kinds of prints all our shawlsate made from. Such hard work has gone into it. My mum used to make bed covers before she was married. She didnt ever like school in India but used to live doing interesting patchwork on it. I have started a blog just this week am still working on it to finish the layout. http://www.personalautographs.blogspot.co.uk.

  42. Elliestac

    2012-06-18 at 12:19 AM

    Beautiful. Sentiment and craftsmanship and tradition are rare qualities these days (the Primark era). Have you seen the spiders’ silk Shawl in the V&A? I haven’t but have watched a video about the construction – its incredible. This post reminded me of it. Very beautiful, and pieces with a story are so inspiring.

  43. Alina

    2015-03-09 at 11:42 AM

    I love these pieces, very beautiful!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.