⟨ Nice Things ⟩

The gentle beast

LOEWE De Morgan capsule collection

Words / Elva Pang
Translation / Iris Heung

「恐慌是我最好的朋友和老師。」禪修大師詠給.明就仁波切在一次禪修課中這樣說。後來,每次遇到讓人恐懼的事,便會想起這句說話。他把不停喧嘩搗亂的念頭比喻為「瘋猴子」,每人的內心都有這頑皮的猴子,如何與牠相處是我們每天的功課。我想,有時候這隻猴子會化成窮兇極惡的野獸,吞噬我們的眼、耳或是整顆心,使我們看不到、聽不到眼前的美好;有時候牠會是溫柔的野獸,有點囂張倔強,帶點稜角地保護我。如果每個人都把內心的獸畫出來會是怎樣呢?或許牠的面相會是可愛得讓人會心微笑嗎?可愛的野獸讓人想起英國的陶瓷家William De Morgan創作的瓷磚圖案。在他筆下的珍禽異獸和奇花異卉圖案都是色彩繽紛、充滿奇幻的色彩,猶如神話中在眾神旁的野獸。

喜愛把藝術與時裝融合的Jonathan Anderson,每年都會從英國美術工藝運動的工藝家取材,今年LOEWE的聖誕系列便以William De Morgan的陶瓷藝術為靈感,把陶瓷家筆下的怪獸結合設計師天馬行空的想像,將奇幻色彩與日常服飾結合得天衣無縫。De Morgan作品常見的渡渡鳥、孔雀和戴勝鳥等動物化身成可愛的編織和刺繡圖案;鷓鴣的草葉和黃花圖案在手袋上,顯得溫暖,帶點熱帶森林的氣息。

1863年William De Morgan遇上紡織設計師William Morris,並加入裝飾工藝公司Morris & Co.,獲委任主理陶瓷磚設計及生產。他緊隨英國美術工藝運動追求的技術革新主張,精心研發了創新的上釉、燒製及上色的技術。LOEWE亦擁有深厚的工藝傳統,從工匠以拼皮技術將De Morgan的作品重現於 Postal手袋,還有小牛皮上的刺繡及層次縱橫交錯的織品,都可見工匠的大師級手工。假如心內有一隻溫柔的獸,像De Morgan筆下的那一種該會很不錯吧。

“Fear is my best friend and my best teacher,” said the Tibetan Buddism master Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche in one of his meditation classes. His teaching comes to my mind whenever I encounter something fearful. He sees the disturbing thoughts as a “crazy monkey” that lives in everyone’s mind. It is our daily task to tame this monkey. To me, this monkey can even turn into a fierce beast that can consume our eyes, our ears, or even our heart. It can stop us from seeing and listening to beautiful things. At other times, the monkey can be a gentle animal that is a little bit arrogant and stubborn, but it is an animal that would like to keep me protected. What will we see if we all draw our inner beasts on a piece of paper? Do they have an adorable appearance? When talking about adorable beasts, it reminds me of the English potter William De Morgan. The tiles he designed are colorful paintings of rare animals and exotic plants that exude a magical vibe as if they were depicting scenes of mythologies.

Jonathan Anderson’s signature is to blend elements of art into his fashion design. He takes inspiration from artists and craftsmen during the Arts & Crafts Movement for his designs. This Christmas, LOEWE is introducing their William De Morgan capsule collection that embroidered De Morgan’s creative and enchanted world onto the fabric. Embroideries of dodos, peacocks, and Eurasian hoopoes become patterns on the clothes, floral motif embroidered on handbags gives out a warmth that interestingly reminds one of the tropical forests. The collection just makes you dream of traveling to the other end of the world for a memorable Christmas journey.

William De Morgan became friends with the textile designer William Morris in 1863. De Morgan later joined the furnishings and decorative arts manufacturer Morris & Co., where he managed tile design and manufacturing. Following the reformation driven by the Arts & Crafts Movement, De Morgan endeavored to innovate the glazing, firing, and coloring technique. LOEWE also has a long and strong tradition in craftsmanship, which allows the works of De Morgan to be represented on the Postal bag collection through the technique of leather collage. Crafted in hand-embroidered leather featuring hand-embroidered De Morgan’s tile motif, every handbag is a masterpiece of crafts. We probably don’t have to be afraid of our inner beast if they were as gentle and adorable as the animals on De Morgan’s artwork.