Thursday, July 12, 2012

Connect the Dots

Dot... Dot... Dash... Dash

Louis Vuitton 5th Avenue Windows
(Click images for larger view)

 Bold, playful, polka dots are a crowd pleasing perennial favorite, beloved by 'kids' of ALL ages. They routinely cover everything from toys and items of home decor, to accessories and clothing. And they are about to become even more popular and more ubiquitous, thanks to the new collaboration between 83 year old Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama and Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. Marc, a huge fan and collector of Kusama's sculptures and paintings, originally met the creative artist in 2006, and at that time, asked if she would be interested in coming to the United States in order to collaborate on a fashion project.


Marimekko tote bag

The result is a collection of shoes, bags, shirts, skirts, and sunglasses completely covered in dots. Even the facade of the store's Fifth Avenue flagship is covered in dots, as are the windows, which touch upon three of Kusama long standing themes: "Beginning of the Universe," "Eternal Blooming Flowers in My Mind" and "Self-Obliteration." There was a formal unveiling this past Tuesday and outgoing Louis Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle was in attendance, as was the wheelchair bound Kusama. It was her first trip to the U.S. in 30 years. What was she wearing? Polka dots of course. (FYI, there is a perfectly timed retrospective of Kusama's work, at The Whitney Museum of American Art, beginning July 12th).


Yayoi Kusama in front of Vuitton's 5th Avenue store

 This got me thinking about about polka dots, which never go out of style (duh!), and which I have always loved. The late great Geoffrey Beene adored them as well and they were almost a signature, as he used them throughout his long career and if you're lucky, you can periodically find vintage versions. I happened to notice that a dealer on http://www.etsy.com/  is selling a red and white polka dot two piece skirt suit on sale ($225), and http://www.1stdibs.com/  is offering a vintage Beene Boutique navy and white polka dot dress from the 70's (the dealer is Marlene Wetherell).


Celine resort 2013 runway
(photo: firstView.com)

Some recent and quite notable examples of graphic polka dots are Celine's black and white renditions for resort 2013. And of course, you can always satisfy your craving for Mod inspired dots at (much less expensively I might add, at Marimekko (http://www.usmarimekko.com/ ), the iconic Finnish label.


Marimekko silk scarf

I recently visited their Flatiron District Flagship (200 Fifth Avenue, 212 843 9121) and was immediately attracted to their black and white polka dot textiles, shower curtains, aprons, tote bags, cotton napkins, and silk scarves.

Marilyn Kirschner

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