The star of the campaign is an otter.
An otter, a wading bird, a dragonfly and a dodo – images distinctive in style from the work of British Arts and Craft ceramicist William De Morgan – are brought to life in a stunning combination of stop-motion animation and live action to launch LOEWE’s new range of ready-to-wear and accessories for men and women.
Both the products in LOEWE’s new capsule collection and the film created to promote them are inspired by De Morgan, who was renowned for his fantastic creatures and floral arabesques and is a particular favourite of Jonathan Anderson, creative director at the Spanish luxury fashion house.
The unique production techniques allowed the models in the new LOEWE collection to interact with a fantastical setting where anything is possible.
The 60-second film, titled ‘An Otter’s Tale’, directed by Nina Gantz through Blinkink, opens with live action – a model holding a Puzzle Floral small bag from the new LOEWE collection, crossing an ornately-decorated Moroccan room.
Suddenly, from a pool in the centre of the tiled floor, an animated otter emerges and leaps through a hole in a nearby brightly coloured tapestry – leading the viewer into an alternative, world.
Behind the tapestry, a wading bird stands in a wooded grove beside a pond from which a second live action model, wearing a frog suit, emerges to flick out his tongue to catch a passing animated dragon fly.
The following scenes feature a collection of half-human, half-fantasy creatures and also an animated dodo at the point of its extinction.
Finally, the otter leads the action back to live action reality by emerging from a De Morgan-style ceramic pot – on which it features, along with the dodo, as an illustration on the side – to be caught then worn as an Otter bag by a woman dressed by LOEWE.
Throughout, the action is accompanied by a striking piece of choral music specially composed for the campaign by Terence Dunn and recorded with The Brighton festival chorus, consisting of 120 singers.
“The Brief from LOEWE was to create a film that brings the world of William De Morgan to life," Blinkink director Nina Gantz says.
"It was an amazing world to dive into! We were also very happy to have a real puppet genius, Josie Corben, who worked on films such as Isle of Dogs and Frankenweenie, join us in this beautiful endeavour.”
The attention paid to the finest details of the production underlines the world class craftsmanship that characterises the LOEWE William de Morgan Capsule Collection, which includes a striking black leather jacket with a crimson dodo painted on its back and a peacock-print trench coat in indigo, cerulean and green among its array of luxury ready-to-wear items.
A large team of around 60 people worked on the ad, not including the choir, while the variety of sets - including a forest, a valley, a flower bush and a skeleton cave - were made with fabric, cut and sewn painstakingly by hand.
“This campaign defies all Christmas clichés," LOEWE creative director Jonathan Anderson says.
"The English potter William De Morgan was the main inspiration for the new collection and his work lent itself very well as a starting point for a darkly strange and fun film which epitomises the collection.”
LOEWE’s William De Morgan-inspired collection launches on November 15 along with a cinema release. Blinkink has also created some shorter formats for use in OOH and on social channels.
Title: An Otter’s Tale
Air Date: November 2019
Production Company: Blinkink
Director: Nina Gantz
Executive Producer: Bart Yates
Producer: Janet Smith
Production Manager: Jack Bingham
DoP: Malcolm Hadley
1st AD: Rory Shaw
Location Manager: Ross Kirkman
Focus Puller: Toby Goodyear
Steadycam: Jon Kassell
Gaffer: Tim O’Connell
Electricians: Jonathan Woodard, Billy Boston, Robin Brigham
DIT: Nat Valente
CCTV: Ewan Macfarlan
Art Director / Production Designer: Gordon Allen
Assistant Art Director: Jasmine Nixon
Needle worker: Eden Allen
Puppet Maker: Josie Corben
Assistant Puppet Maker: Isobel Irwin
Tapestry Maker: Rose Popham
Set Maker: Yossel Simpson Little
Set Dresser: Brin Frost
Model Maker: Sarah Crombie
Model Maker: Rachel Lloyd
Scenic and Model Painter: Richard Davidson
Animation Rigger: Robin Jackson
Animators: Steve Warne, Andy Biddle, Adam M. Watts
VFX Supervisor: Quentin Vien
Post Production Manager: Rosanna Morley
Compositors: Emre Samioglu, Turker Tuncer
Making of: Joe Eckworth
Grade: Simona Cristea (Coffee and TV)