Studio Ghibli creates Howl’s Moving Castle installations at Selfridges

A series of immersive installations have been designed in and around London’s Selfridges department store to celebrate the latest collaboration between fashion brand Loewe and Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

The installations were created to celebrate the third and final collaboration between Loewe and Studio Ghibli, a capsule collection based on the animation house’s 2004 feature film Howl’s Moving Castle.

Loewe and Studio Ghibli installation at Selfridges' Corner Shop
Installation features only at Selfridges’ Corner Shop

One of the installations is located at Selfridges’ Corner Shop – a pop-up space hosting an ever-changing selection of retail experiences.

A large-scale model of the recognizable castle associated with the film’s title character Howl can be seen in the shop window, complete with fanciful legs and jumbo black turrets.

Aerial view of tables with spindle legs at Loewe's installation at Dolly's Cafe
Cafe Dolly’s shop was changed to Calcifer’s Kitchen

Clusters of cartoon clouds were arranged next to mannequins dressed in garments from the collection, which refer to various characters from the story, for example in the fancy lining of trench coats or as bold embroidery on bags.

Another installation was set up inside Dolly’s Selfridges Cafe. Loewe and Studio Ghibli created Calcifer’s Kitchen, a “culinary experience” named after the fire demon that feeds Howl’s castle in the film.

Howl's Moving Castle character-shaped cookies on custom tables
Howl’s Moving Castle themed food is served

Seated on country-style wooden tables with spindly legs, diners can experience a fun version of English afternoon tea designed by French studio Balbosté.

Bespoke washing line style menus take center stage at the tables focusing on the clothes that run off the castle on screen, and food ranges from sandwiches that take cues from meadows to cookies shaped like cartoon characters.

A table showing the elements used to create the Loewe Howl's Moving Castle bag
Loewe designed a custom bag inspired by the film’s recognizable castle

The department store space within the Old Selfridges Hotel was also transformed into an exhibition about the Loewe and Studio Ghibli collaboration, renamed The Cloud Room.

The materials and components used to create the Loewe leather bag in the shape of a Moving Castle were displayed in an encyclopedic format on the tables. Visitors can also explore background art from the Studio Ghibli film.

Finally, a giant inflatable version of the castle was located at Marble Arch near Selfridges for five days earlier this month.

“Blending handmade and digital animation, Howl’s Moving Castle is technically innovative, exemplifying the power of craft as a bridge between the old and the new – a creative approach that Loewe is proud to share,” said the fashion house’s creative director , Jonathan Anderson.

“The message is one of uplifting connections. Crafting fantasies to create other realities and see the world in a different way.”

Window display of Howl's Moving Castle collection at Selfridges
The installations represent the third and final collaboration between Loewe and Studio Ghibli

Last year, Studio Ghibli opened an amusement park in the city of Nagakute, Japan. Loewe also reopened its flagship store in Barcelona after being redesigned as a gallery-like space defined by a winding bamboo installation.

Images courtesy of Loewe.

The installations are on display in London until 25 February 2023. See the Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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