The collaboration marks the second time Louis Vuitton has worked with the critically-acclaimed and internet-beloved artist, known for her repetitive use of dots, balls, and reflective materials.
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“As a celebration of the Maison’s relationship with the artist and to mark the 10-year anniversary of the first collaboration, a handful of leather goods were premiered during Artistic Director of Women’s Collections Nicolas Ghesquière’s Cruise 2023 fashion show at the Salk Institute in San Diego,” reads a press release from Louis Vuitton.
In 2012, when the brand was helmed by designer Marc Jacobs, Kusama’s signature dots adorned scarves, dresses, shoes and were overlaid over Louis Vuitton’s iconic monogram on bags. The resulting effect evoked ’60’s mod.
The new collection, which was shown on the catwalks at the Salk Institute in San Diego Monday, has a quite different effect. Dots of yellow, green, white, blue, and red are seemingly painted on the bags, as if attached, albeit somewhat methodically, by a naughty child. One of Louis Vuitton black leather bags is dotted with protruding silver balls in a direct reference to one of Kusama’s most popular works, Narcissus Garden (1966) in which mirrored spheres are arranged on the ground or even in shallow bodies of water.
Only a small sample of the Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton collaboration was on view yesterday. The full collection, which the release describes as “transversal,” is due to be released in January next year.