• Francesca Chelli

Experience is the Real Luxury


Take a day in Milan during the Design Week, one of those days when you don't even have the time to leave your house that the cars start to trumpet you while you're walking on the pedestrian crossing. Traffic in the Brera District already gone crazy in the early morning. What if on that day it rains as well and you have to run to the other end of the city for a meeting? Thoughts, problems, delays on a hectic everyday life in a challenging city.

You've been invited to a workshop but you didn't have much time to learn what it would be about.

You arrive at the scheduled time in the afternoon and are greeted by smiles and extreme kindness, accompanied to sit in a white environment, with classic music as a background, the one that puts you at your ease.

The decor is restful, minimal, lots of flowers, leather objects, huge green plates hanging from a wall, a fireplace.

You are at the Loewe House in Via Montenapoleone 21. A long table in the middle of the room set up not for lunch but with shears and vases, a desk with many flowers and branches is organized in front.

Still checking the latest messages on your smartphone and you're a bit winded, when Watara Master starts speaking in Japanese, with the interpreter next to him translating into English.

With a firm but tenuous voice he is beginning to explain the philosophy of Ikebana. He, you heard, arrived in Milan about three weeks ago to choose the flowers that will be used today in the workshop. The flowers and the branches must have precise characteristics.

The heart of Ikebana is to follow the direction, both of a branch, or of a blooming flower. By practicing this art you become more patient and tolerant of diversity, which is not just present in nature. I start to get taken, these are topics that attract me very much.

IKEBANA literally means "to compose the flowers and let them live". If in Western countries there is a tendency to emphasize the quantity of flowers used and their color, shifting the attention above all to the beauty of the buds, on the contrary in Japan the linear aspects of the composition are emphasized. It's here that has been developed the use of vases, leaves, stems and branches included in the composition together with the flowers, giving importance to the branches that, with their direction and asymmetry, bring meaning and content to the whole composition, involving the three-dimensional reality too.

As Western European we are obsessed and willing to fill all the spaces, we are intimidated by leaving empty spaces, all our efforts are aimed at filling the gaps.

Ikebana in practice represents the essence of Japanese thought: emptiness has a meaning and must be respected.

Let's leave every now and then some emptiness around, to allow life proposing us what to fill it with.

Thank you for this pause for reflection, for this cultivation not only of flowers. I treasured it.

Casa Loewe, Via Montenapoleaone,21

Alessandra Ianzito PR Events

www.loewe.com

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