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Read between Yayoi Kusama’s dots in a Louis Vuitton bag |


Read between Yayoi Kusama’s dots in a Louis Vuitton bag

LIFE AND STYLE - Millet M. Mananquil - The Philippine Star
Read between Yayoi Kusamaâs dots in a Louis Vuitton bag
Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton

This sounds crazy. But it’s not.

Why do revered brands with history and heritage become a hit when they collaborate with an artist who does irreverent and surreal stuff?

That must have been a question when Yayoi Kusama — who was anti-establishment and spent years in a mental hospital — designed for Louis Vuitton 10 years ago.

Her bag designs were such a hit in 2012 that a decade later, LV is launching another collab with her. Her creations featured dots (which, for her, are a metaphor for infinity) and mirrors, too (her free love and anti-war ideas were a mirror of the times). She was, and still is, very relevant.

Founded in 1854, LV has never ceased to be relevant, I must say.  The founder’s grandson and creative, Gaston-Louis Vuitton, a century ago actually commissioned artists to do LV’s store windows.  Collaboration is really nothing new in LV tradition.

Personally, I prefer LV bags that were done in collab with artists. My all-time fave is the yellow dotted Yayoi Kusama bag, which speaks to my heart and soul. I hold it close in my arms and I feel it makes me wish I could interview the 93-year-old Kusama now. What hallucinations did she see starting from childhood? What pains remain hidden in her heart? Why did she leave Japan in 1958 when her career was flourishing? Why did she destroy her paintings then? What made her return to Japan in 1993? And why did she prefer to live in an asylum for troubled minds? There is much to talk about. And what about her surreal poetry and fiction? Should we just read between the lines?

Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama Alma BB in red monogram Empreinte leather.

“My desire was to predict and measure the infinity of the unbounded universe, from my own position in it, with dots,” writes Kusama in her autobiography, Infinity Net.

Her career is colorfully dotted with huge awards and acclaimed exhibits worldwide, from Paris to New York to Tel Aviv. She is hailed as the most successful living female artist of our time.

Perhaps we should just look at her latest creations for Louis Vuitton and get amazed. And read between the dotted lines.

Reversible bucket hat; Chapeau Reversible Infinity Dots long-sleeved cropped pullover; Infinity Dots Straight-cut Pants; Acad-emy Loafer in glazed calf leather; Neverfull MM in red monogram Empreinte leather with Infinity Dots.

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In the Philippines, the Louis Vuitton store is located in Greenbelt 4, Ayala Center, Makati.

Follow the author on Instagram and Facebook @milletmartinezmananquil. Email her at and

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