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A decade since Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama hand-painted the Louis Vuitton Trunk in 2012 with her characteristic polka dots to represent infinity, her avant-garde magic continues to amaze both art and fashion fans around the world across generations.
In celebration of the collaboration’s 10th anniversary, her art touches more of the Maison’s emblematic objects. LV x YK redefines fashion—going beyond fashion, and redefining what it means to experience and own a piece of “wearable art” today.
Filipina actress, artist and global style setter Heart Evangelista “fell in love with it at first sight,” she writes of her LV x YK Alma BB in the Noir/Jaune colorway to 11 million Instagram followers.
The Alma’s ancestry can be traced to the end of the 19th century, with its most direct forebears taking the rather humble form of a linen bag and a night bag—two simple canvas pouches designed to keep trunk drawers tidy. Since its official birth date in 1992 in Monogram canvas, the Alma has turned out in every rainbow shade of Épi leather, gone graphic in Damier, and shone in glossy Monogram Vernis. It has appeared in every format, from BB to XXL. It has even lent itself to artistic inspiration, welcoming the graffiti of Stephen Sprouse and the cute characters of Takashi Murakami. Already Louis Vuitton’s most frequently revisited bag, the Alma has recently been reimagined in a red on black Monogram version by Nicolas Ghesquière. Through all these different guises, however, the Alma remains the perfect bag, gliding through every age and every season with the same serene and timeless style.
In the Alma, Kusama’s dots dazzle in a contrasting print on grained Epi cowhide. Dangling on its handle is a removable pumpkin charm— another of Kusama’s emblems.
The LV x YK collaboration with Kusama’s dotted patterns, a unifying motif throughout her work since she emerged as an avant-garde pioneer in the 1960s, also appear in the Capucines MM, as worn by Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett and Queen Rania of Jordan, both in black, as well as K-pop royalty in the red mini.
Every dot in the collection is an exact replica of these works, a true representation of Kusama’s hand: one of many things in the project that has challenged and advanced the Maison’s savoir-faire. Each incarnation of the polka dots has been presided over by Kusama personally—as have all the many and varied objects in the project—being moved with precision to the nearest millimeter, brushstrokes echoed in uncanny detail with their texture and weight intact. It is in this pursuit of the infinite through craft that both Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama are ultimately united. It is in the making of magical objects that transcend space and time that both are engaged in and recognize one another. It is here that both Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama want the person who possesses such objects to feel both the care and emotional investment it took to make them; to become part of their story and hopefully become part of the story of future generations—stretching into infinity.
Divided between two drops, Drop 1 encompasses the Painted Dots (which the project is rooted in), the Metal Dots (a glint of the infinite inspired by Kusama’s mirrored orbs, a motif familiar from her Narcissus Garden, shown unofficially at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966), Infinity Dots (which will also encompass Drop 2 in March 31), and Psychedelic Flower, from her psychedelic “Flower” painting, unfurling across accessories and ready-to-wear for men and women.
Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama‘s collaboration will be celebrated within a fully immersive visual landscape, ranging from window displays to pop-ups to anamorphic billboards, alongside AR experiences, an XR game and a dedicated advertising campaign.
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Louis Vuitton is in Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati and The Shoppes at Solaire, Solaire Resort and Casino, Parañaque.
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