Galeria Loewe in Barcelona: more lux-leather heritage

loewe 06Luxury leather brands are currently bigging up their heritage roots through fancy exhibitions, you remember the fabulous Hermes Leather Forever one we wrote about, it’s all about authenticating their origins to -in part- justify the hefty price tags attached. Well when I was in Barcelona last week I was tipped off about Loewe’s Galeria space which explores the history of this Spanish brand in an exhibition/shop format. Prior to last week I’d never been in a Loewe shop, but as the saying goes, when in Rome, or in this case Barcelona, it seemed only right to investigate.

It is a beautifully curated space, with attention paid to highlighting the many skilled processes involved in the handbag making process, I loved the ingredients display above, featuring everything (there are 65 bits in all) that goes into constructing the brand’s signature Amazona bag. There is also a small gallery of Loewe’s most famous vintage bags, including the 1942 Eva Peron bag, made from boxcalf, below.

I am a sucker for a vintage bag, with the beautiful details including quality linings, embossed initials and fancy trims they have, why can’t today’s handbags come with their own make up compacts and mirrors like they used to?

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Below left, from 1950 is a scraped snakeskin bag and its matching purse, a design popular throughout the 50s and 60s and on the right, the Marchioness of Camarines’s bag she took on her American travels in 1918, I hope this wasn’t all she took….

loewe galaria 01A best selling clutch design from the 60s below left and below right, this handcrafted suitcase from 1946 has a wooden interior making it a tad heavy, although I suppose the owner would have had staff to carry it around. Loewe isn’t cheap.

loewe 07Below is a 30s design which would slip effortlessly into action today….

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But it wasn’t all backward looking. This is modern Loewe below, cheerfully embracing spring 2013 colours in a stylish and very chic lux-mash-up.

loewe 05The Spanish economy is pretty crap currently so I hope these zingy hues cheer everyone up, all assuming someone can afford to buy them. The presentation throughout the store was superb, these boxes have a textural surface you wanted to stroke and the bags were adorned with the cutest polar bears and bulls made into leather key ring charms.

loewe 08Being a proud Spanish brand there are many references to the country’s cultural heritage, such as the matador print on this silk scarf and the flamenco-inspired colours in the prints. We sat for ages watching the dancing scarf installation Flamenco Dancers from artist Daniel Wurtzel (on video, from Style Bubble), it was mesmerizing and we couldn’t help think it would be rather brilliant in a store window…..

On the chance you are in Barcelona at all this year, the space is well worth a quick visit. There’s a top floor art exhibition space where Scott Schuman of The Sartorialist fame had an exhibition of his photos last year. You can find Loewe Galaria at Paseo de Gracia 35, Barcelona.

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