Going dotty for the art of Yayoi Kusama is normal. Her hypnotic, repetitive patterns are unmistakable. Whether it’s immersive mirror-lined rooms or bulbous spotted pumpkin sculptures, the octogenarian Japanese artist has made a name for herself as the famed Polka-Dot Princess and art market darling. Singapore’s no exception to the Kusama obsession either—recall how over 235,000 visitors flocked to the National Gallery Singapore in 2017, when the museum staged Southeast Asia’s first major survey exhibition of Kusama’s work in ‘Yayoi Kusama: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow’.
Besides taking the international art landscape by storm, Kusama also made waves in the fashion world. Close followers of Louis Vuitton would remember how the eccentric Kusama made a collection with then creative director Marc Jacobs in 2012, where the artist’s signature dots adorned Louis Vuitton’s popular bags. Now, ten years on, the French luxury house and Japanese artist are reuniting once again for a creative exchange. And this time, the duo are picking up from where the 2012 conversation left off—with an expansion and unification of their interconnected worlds.
As seen at Louis Vuitton’s cruise 2023 show in San Diego, the latest Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collaboration encompasses both womenswear and menswear through an assortment of ready-to-wear, accessories, trunks and fragrances. The collection also adopts the common colour combinations in Kusama’s practice, such as black and white, red and white as well as yellow and black. Furthermore, Louis Vuitton is adding to its offerings a wide array of Kusama’s motifs and imaginings of infinity.
Kusama’s signature painted dots proliferate white Capucines bags and black Dauphine bags, as well as womenswear pieces: silk twill pyjama suiting, intricately printed denims and cashmere knits. Meanwhile, Kusama’s installations like ‘Narcissus Garden’ and ‘Infinity Mirror Rooms’ are reinterpreted as metallic Louis Vuitton accessories. Fans of Kusama’s reflective works can look forward to Cannes bags, Soft Trunks and Twist bags adorned with hand-sewn silver orb accents of varying sizes.
The hallucinatory blooms in Kusama’s paintings and sculptural forms find their way onto Louis Vuitton’s leather goods too. In white hues, the intricate floral motif spreads across the Monogram Bum Bag, Sac Plat and Keepall. As for women’s Capucines bags, florals are enlarged to encompass the bags entirely in black and red Taurillon leather.
Teaming up with Kusama also sees an evolution of Louis Vuitton’s own emblematic pieces. To replicate Kusama’s dots in a lifelike manner, Louis Vuitton has advanced its savoir-faire. Each incarnation of a polka-dot is created through a complex serigraphy technique and embossed printing on leather or iconic coated canvas.
A celebration of Louis Vuitton’s longstanding partnership with artistic talents, it’s safe to say that the French maison‘s dedication to craftsmanship and Kusama’s psychedelic dreams of self-obliteration are a perfect match for each other. Below, Vogue Singapore rounds up the best picks from the Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collection ahead of its release on 6 January 2023.
1 / 10
Louis Vuitton Alma BB with Infinity Dots print
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Louis Vuitton Capucines BB with Psychedelic Flower print
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Louis Vuitton Side Trunk in black
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Louis Vuitton Keepall 45 with Painted Dots print
5 / 10
Louis Vuitton Sac Plat 24H with Psychedelic Flower print
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Louis Vuitton Mini Soft Trunk with Painted Dots print
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Louis Vuitton Petite Malle with Painted Dots print
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Louis Vuitton Twist PM with Infinity Dots print
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Louis Vuitton Pochette Metis with Painted Dots print
10 / 10