Dazed Digital


Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama

July 25, 2012

Marc Jacobs teams up with Japanese art legend Yayoi Kusama for a deeply dotty collection

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Richard Bridgman

Just when you thought things were all quiet on the Vuitton front, Paris's leading fashion empire strikes back with yet another ingenious artistic collaboration. Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince are some serious conceptual boots to fill, so it's little wonder that Japanese pop art legend Yayoi Kusama should be Marc Jacob's latest recruit. The timing could not be better: as the first ever full-blown Kusama retrospective hits the world's culture capitals (the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London and the Whitney in New York), we are treated to a high fashion take on the method to Yayoi Kusama's madness.

But just who is the woman behind Vuitton's latest coup? There are two things you should know about Yayoi Kusama: 1) She loves a good polka dot 2) She is clinically insane. At the ripe old age of 83, she has forged an entire career out of what might be considered a thoroughly bourgeois hallucination. One day, while staring at the family floral tablecloth, she looked up to see the entire room filled with the same design. An obsession with seriality was born.

Art aside, Ms. Kusama is no stranger to the fashion world. It is a little known fact that she established her own label complete with a corner at Bloomingdales as early as 1968. More recently, she teamed up with high-end French beauty label Lancôme to design a series of limited edition lip glosses. Her undying love for the polka dot (she often refers to herself as 'a dot lost among millions of other dots') is probably what sealed the deal, though. You may recall that Mr. Jacobs himself is no stranger to the polka dot, as demonstrated by his own label Fall 2011 collection, which was positively crawling with them.

Jacob's earlier collection could perhaps be read as a tacit homage to the Great Mistress, or better still a sly request to collaborate with her. Since first meeting in 2006, the pair have shown a mutual appreciation of one another's design aesthetic. It is the very same delightfully regressive innocence that shines through in the Louis Vuitton capsule collection. Bags, bracelets, shoes, sunglasses and scarves are all on the menu, served up in bright red and mustard yellow hues. For the less adventurous among you, fear not: there is a more tame black and white combo on offer.

As with all things Vuitton, bags are mandatory, and yet ironically they are perhaps the least successful pieces of the collection. The real interest lies in the delightful ballerina pumps and pin-up heels with polka dot bows - a retro-girly-preppy touch that would not have been out of place in Jacob's own label collection. Equally charming are the Lolita-worthy cuffs and shades, accessories that will make even the most simple summer outfit pop.The pièces de resistance are indisputably the unisex printed silk scarves, true collector pieces of a more avant-garde appeal.

Ever at the fore of digital fashion, Louis Vuitton once again confirm their place in pole position with a fully immersive experience. Take a moment to visit the dedicated site and delve into the kooky world of the queen of kawaï through a series of exclusive videos. On a more playful note,  download the Vuitton x Kusama iPhone app and add a little crazy to your favorite shots through a series of special effects. If you still can't get enough, head on over to their limited edition Pinterest board bursting with high quality shots, including Vuitton worldwide window displays.

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