Loewe, Meet 'My Neighbor Totoro'
Creative director Jonathan Anderson's latest capsule collection is an homage to Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic 1988 film.
Image by Gray Sorrenti. Courtesy of Loewe
“Big news Mum, Mei’s made friends with monsters called ‘Totoro.’”
And thankfully, so has Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson, who has created a capsule collection paying homage to Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 masterpiece My Neighbor Totoro, which drops today. As Anderson writes in a release about the collab, “There is a natural longing for heartwarming feelings right now. When I think of a movie that affords me that kind of solace, speaking just as directly to a child as it does to an adult, that movie is My Neighbor Totoro.”
The collection nods to the movie’s visual and emotional sensibilities foremost in graphics—lots of whimsical screen prints of the film’s characters—but also in shape and mood. Totoro takes place in the Japanese countryside, marked by billowing, leafy trees, and the collection features a massive embroidered mohair sweater with, of course, a Totoro patch sitting among branches. Its oversized shape, too, almost mimics the puffy, oblong Totoro, its furry surface billowing like the lush leaves of the camphor trees. It’s a garment that’s meant to be retreated into, like a magic hollow tree trunk.
My Neighbor Totoro is one of my earliest movie memories, my first foray into the Studio Ghibli universe. There’s a decades-old home video somewhere of my older sister, my cousins, and I (my sister a few years younger than Satsuki, me a year or so younger than Mei) piled all on the same couch, probably tuckered out post-holiday celebrations, our faces aglow facing the nearby television screen. Though the camcorder doesn’t show us what’s playing, the background noise says it all: “To-to-ro, To-to-ro, To-to-ro, To-to-ro…” As a child, I remember always wanting to rewind the scene in which Satsuki prepares bento box lunches, and I remember, way too many times to count, drifting off to sleep entirely mid-movie. It’s a film that feels just as comforting in a dream-state as it does when you’re wide awake (plus, uh, “if you don’t want me to fall asleep. during the movie. what are we so cozy for”). Now, I wish I could burrow into that Loewe mohair sweater (like Totoro’s big, furry belly), pop Totoro into a VCR, and hibernate until at least 2022.
Totoro is all about finding beauty in the mundane, the magic in everyday life. Satsuki and Mei, in a new house, new surroundings, are looking for things that make it feel like home. It makes sense that this new Loewe capsule collection follows suite: the emphasis is on spirited basics, from tees to biker jackets to crossbody bags, with some very special touches. A useful garment that happens to have some Sootballs here, or a warmly wide-eyed Totoro there. Perhaps the most delightful piece in the collection is a pair of simple black drawstring shorts (wool/cotton blend, culottes length, you know the vibes) whose cuffs are adorned with—nay, populated by—a dozen little dust bunny pompoms, blinking out from the hems. Hi there. Nice to see you, too.