‘History as basis, as starting point. History as inspiration,' is the brand comment from Loewe when asked about the connection between its fragrances and Villa Magnán in Biarritz, south-west France, where the Loewe fragrance collection has been photographed.
The brand’s focus on history is no surprise. A 175-year-old Spanish leather goods purveyor that has become a benchmark of 21st-century style, Loewe is continually toggling between the traditional and the modern.
Loewe’s home fragrance line is a case in point. As creative director Jonathan Anderson told us ahead of its launch last year, ‘the ribbed terracotta pot that holds our candles is based on a 5th century BC Greek mug I bought at an auction several years ago. In the rhythmic purity of this incredibly old object, I find unquestionable modernity, and function: it offered the perfect template as a container for our candles, which come in three different sizes.'
As for the inspiration of the collection’s second design, Anderson says, ‘a classic Louis XIV-era French ambeau informs the geometry of the other candle base: craft knows no historic border for me.'
It makes sense, then, that the brand has chosen to capture its home fragrance collection alongside the atmospheric interiors of Villa Magnán.
The art deco palace was built in 1927 for the Marquis and Marquise de Casa Riera and their children, an aristocratic family with links to the fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga.
Fleeing from the Spanish Civil War, the family moved into the house in 1931 and lived there for just five years, making further sporadic visits over the course of the Second World War.
From 1950, it remained largely untouched, becoming a crumbling manor set amongst increasingly wild parkland.
A few years ago, the property was bought by stylist and production designer Anne Israël and her cinematographer husband, Jérôme Israël. The pair have restored the house to its art deco glory while infusing it with distinctly modern decor.
The resulting images, seen here, are a welcome visual treat, showcasing the villa’s unique interiors alongside Loewe’s signature candles.
Mary Cleary is the Beauty & Grooming Editor of Wallpaper*. Having been with the brand since 2017, she became an editor in February 2020 with the launch of the brand’s new beauty & grooming channel. Her work seeks to offer a new perspective on beauty, focusing on the pioneering personalities, product designs, and transformative trends within the industry.
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