‘Infinitely Kusama’, Yayoi’s collection for Louis Vuitton constitutes the most extensive collaboration the brand has undertaken so far and follows partnerships with Takashi Murakami, the late Stephen Sprouse and Richard Prince.
Yayoi Kusama is undoubtedly both Japan’s most prominent and prolific living artist. Throughout her more than 60 year career Kusama has worked insatiably and indefatigably, developing a voraciously extensive body of work that encompasses painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, and performance based works as well as the large-scale installations for which she is best known. Polka dots and nets have been ubiquitous motifs in her work since Kusama was ten years old, symbolic of their infinite and indelible value for the artist.
Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton’s creative director, first met Yayoi – who voluntarily resides in the Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill – in 2006 when she presented him with a Kusama customised LV Ellipse bag, daubed in distinctive dots, a moment which was captured in Loïc Prigent’s 2007 documentary ‘Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton’ .
Come July Louis Vuitton’s Bond Street maison will be overwhelmed by Kusama-mania as her collection will be displayed alongside life-size Kusama casts. Coincidentally Selfridges will also dedicate all of its windows to Vuitton’s Kusama collection and will also host a pumpkin pop up shop, making shopping this summer a positive polka fest!
In store from July 10th, two days prior to the opening of the artist’s second major retrospective, this time at New York’s Whitney museum, the ‘Infinitely Kusama’ collection will include trench coats, dresses, pyjamas, swimwear, sunglasses, shoes and jewellery and will be available in all of Vuitton’s 461 stores, whilst monogram leather goods will be central to a second line not in store until October. My favourite pieces include the perfectly prêt à porter transparent black polka dot mini mac, short sleeved, spotted silk shift dress, dotty dark glasses and little pumpkin evening bag.
Kusama says of her collaboration with the fashion house, ‘I want to show people the beauty of the universe, and the line allows me to reach the very wide LV audience’, bring on Kusamania!
All images courtesy of Louis Vuitton.