Louis Vuitton Concept Store at Selfridges London
This concept store created out of a collaboration between fashion brand Louis Vuitton and the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, to create a collection of garments featuring Kusama’s obsessional polka dot patterns for a concept store at Selfridges department store in London.
The Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is best known for her works featuring seeming infinities of polka dots, but is also a poet and a performer. An interesting aspect is her home life- more specifically her home. Since 1977, she has lived voluntarily in a psychiatric institution after battling with obsessions from an early age. Now if only those obsessed with twitter and social media could find a way to use that obsession to make things half as great as her. There’s an idea. Quick someone write up a grant proposal.
The 84-year-old artist’s assured collaboration with the French fashion house – for which she has also been commissioned to create a series of ‘worldwide windows’ for its stores around the globe – is arguably Louis Vuitton’s smartest artistic coup to date. Now they’ve extended the collaboration to London’s Selfridges.
Twenty-four windows of the department store have been polka-dotted by the artist. Louis Vuitton and Kusama have essentially ‘taken over’ Selfridges in celebration of the second wave of the collection, which will hold court exclusively in store until 19 October, when it will then be available in Louis Vuitton stores.
The dotty assault, a signature the contemporary art maven has used to define her paintings, sculptures and installations through the years, continues inside Selfridges’ Concept Store – a space designed to house ephemeral special projects such as this. Here, giant be-dotted pumpkin structures – another hallmark of her work – frame Louis Vuitton’s new collection by Kusama, which all feature repeated patterns in a colour-pop of vibrant hues.
- This year Louis Vuitton sponsored Kusama’s exhibition at the Tate in London. Following this, the iconic fashion brand released materials, shoes and bags inspired by her works- covered in red, yellow and black polka dots.
- The concept store is also immersed in polka dots: perforated giant lamps hang over display tables while walls, floors and display cabinets are covered in an infinity of bright dots in various sizes.
- The collection includes a plastic trench coat that makes the wearer appear as though they’re painted with spots, an idea Kusama explored in her early works.
- The Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuittontake-over of Selfridges on August 24th 2012 running until October 19th 2012, Selfridges is only one of seven Kusama for Louis Vuitton store collaborations launching in 2012, though it is the most dramatic showcasing Kusama’s signature giant pumpkins that underscore the her new collection with Louis Vuitton. Expect “Kusama’s organic repetitive patterns treated in vigorous and hybrid colours such as the polka dots.”
To celebrate the launch of one of its most significant global artistic collaborations to date, Louis Vuitton unveiled an exceptional take-over of both Selfridges’ legendary windows and its ever-changing special project space, the Concept Store. An unprecedented 24-window design by Yayoi Kusama, will announce the collaboration between Louis Vuitton, the illustrious Japanese artist and Selfridges.
One of seven Kusama for Louis Vuitton major store collaborations launching worldwide in 2012, the Kusama windows and pop-up store for Selfridges could be regarded as the most significant of them all. The collaboration continues within the store, in Selfridges’ Concept Store also transformed by Kusama with her signature giant pumpkins which sets the scene for a showcase of Louis Vuitton’s new collection by Kusama available only at Selfridges for 8 weeks from 24 August. The iconic leather handbags, ready-to-wear, travel bags, shoes and accessories by Louis Vuitton all feature Kusama’s organic repetitive patterns treated in vigorous and hybrid colours such as the polka dots.
For the artist, who sees her life as “a dot lost among millions of other dots”, this collaboration will allow her to spread her polka dots infinitely across the world and convey her timeless and inspiring message: “Love Forever”.
About: Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde.
In 1968, Kusama established Kusama Fashion Company Ltd., and began selling avantgarde fashion in the “Kusama Corner” at Bloomingdales. In 2009, Kusama designed a handbag-shaped cell phone entitled Handbag for Space Travel, My Doggie Ring-Ring, a pink dotted phone in accompanying dog-shaped holder, and a red and white dotted phone inside a mirrored, dotted box dubbed Dots Obsession, Full Happiness With Dots, for Japanese mobile communication giant KDDI Corporation’s “iida“ brand. Each phone was limited to 1000 pieces. In 2011, Kusama created artwork for six limited-edition lipglosses from Lancôme. That same year, she worked with Marc Jacobs (who visited her studio in Japan in 2006) on a line of Louis Vuitton products, including leather goods, ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, watches, and jewelry.
Project name: Louis Vuitton Concept Store
Location: 400 Oxford Street, London W1A 1AB, United Kingdom
Coordinates: 51.514195, -0.152603
Type: Store / Shop / Showroom / Retail
Project Year: 2012
Completion Year: 2012