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 mark the recent 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.

An installation can be found in the Selfridges Corner Shop

One of the installations is in Selfridges’ Corner Shop – a pop-up area offering an ever-changing selection of shopping experiences.

A full-size model of the film’s signature castle, owned by the film’s title character, stands in the window, complete with scrawny legs and huge black turrets.

Aerial view of skinny legged tables at Loewe installation at Dolly's Cafe
The store’s Dolly’s Cafe was converted into Calcifer’s Kitchen

Clusters of cartoonish clouds have been arranged alongside mannequins in garments from the collection that reference various characters from the story, from the decorative lining of tweed jackets to cheeky embroidery on bags.

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

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

Seated on skinny-legged, rustic wooden tables, diners can experience a playful take on an English afternoon tea, designed by French studio Balbosté.

Bespoke clothesline-style menus take center stage at the tables in a nod to the clothes falling from the lock on-screen, while food ranges from meadow-themed sandwiches to cartoon character-shaped cookies.

Table of items used to craft the Loewe Howl's Moving Castle bag
Loewe designed a custom bag inspired by the film’s recognizable lock

The department store’s premises at The Old Selfridges Hotel were also transformed into an exhibition about the Loewe and Studio Ghibli collaboration, renamed The Cloud Room.

Materials and components from which a leather bag in the shape of a Loewe movable lock was made were presented on tables in an encyclopedic format. Visitors can also explore background graphics from the Studio Ghibli film.

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

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

“The message is an uplifting connection. Creating fantasies to create alternate realities and see the world in different ways.”

Showcase of Howl's Moving Castle collection at Selfridges
The installations mark 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 transforming it into a gallery-like space defined by a sinuous bamboo installation.

Images are courtesy of Loewe.

The installations can be seen in London until February 25, 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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