We speak to the artist and peace activist about her collection for Opening Ceremony, based on sketches presented to John Lennon
This winter sees the launch of another unique Opening Ceremony collaboration, this time with artist, musician and peace activist Yoko Ono. Fashions for Men, 1969-2012 is a very limited edition collection of mix and match menswear separates, combining Ono's idiosyncratic avant garde sentiment with OC's appropriately forward-thinking streetwear edge. Each piece was designed from sketches Ono presented to John Lennon in 1969 as a wedding present, originally imagined for John himself to wear. This cheeky collection retains all the playfulness and fascination of the newly betrothed: peek-a-boo panels around the tush, whimsical eye and butt illustrations floating on sweatshirts, hand prints over the crotches of trousers and codpieces that are certainly more celebratory than celibatory. Sex in this case favours the curious over the seductive, each piece imbued with an ingenuous exuberance that will surely find its way onto the world's great dancefloors – as well as the closets of collectors. Opening Ceremony and Ono have published a book of the illustrations to accompany the collection as well, which Ono signed copies of at a small launch party this week in New York. We caught up with Ono and Humberto Leon to talk about the collection.
Dazed Digital: What was it like seeing these sketches come to life?
Yoko Ono: I was totally excited. It's good.
DD: How did they change through collaboration?
Yoko Ono: They were very faithful to my original drawing. I'm sure you will see that yourself, if you compared the two.
DD: Humberto, what about Yoko Ono's work appeals to you?
Humberto Leon: Her artistic vision and aesthetics have always been very forward thinking. When she first mentioned that she was interested in doing a menswear line we knew we wanted to partner with her to realise her sketches from 1969 as they would still translate to a modern audience.
DD: How was the transition of that work into fashion?
Humberto Leon: The lines between art, fashion and design have become less distinct so the transition was natural. Opening Ceremony partnerships often merge our interests outside of the fashion realm so this is familiar territory for us.
DD: Which piece is your favourite and why?
Humberto Leon: There’s a plexi-necklace you wear with two bells attached over your chest and inscribed underneath it says, 'ring for your mommy piece.' It's a piece of wearable art!
Yoko Ono: l like the one which has the exposed butt, because it's so cute.
Photography Lahaina Alcantara