Whether for aesthetic reasons, to set a trend, or perhaps purely by chance, several internationally renowned artists have been inspired by polka dots to create iconic pieces. This is the case of Yayoi Kusama and Damien Hirst.
Kusama is a pioneer in what could be described as “the art of polka dots” in fashion. Since she opened her Kusama Corner at Bloomingdales in 1968, the artist has used polka dots as the centerpiece of her original creations. She went on to design handbags and accessories, and the Japanese telecommunications giant KDDI adopted Kusama´s polka dots as the hallmark of its brand IIDA.
In 2011, the artist also collaborated with Lancôme and subsequently worked in a line of household products that included Louis Vuitton footwear and leather accessories, jewelry and watches. One of the most memorable pieces inspired by the polka dot trend was the Louis Vuitton Tambour Diamond Dots Infinity. This watch, which comes in a limited edition of only 188 copies, has always triggered great interest among connoisseurs of Kusama’s bold design vocabulary.
The case of the Diamond Tambour Dots Infinity is a piece of art in itself, made of stainless steel with Swiss quartz mechanism inside. Additionally, the bezel is inlaid with diamonds and the strap adds color to the watch with bright red and striking white polka dots, which are also engraved on the back of the case next to Kusama’s signature.
This piece is part of the Yayoi Kusama collection for Louis Vuitton, whose theme is the distinctive colorful polka dots that characterize the work of the Japanese artist. Lively, light and playful, this collection also features garments and accessories, from dresses to handbags and silk scarves.
According to Vogue magazine, this had been the most important collaboration between Louis Vuitton and a contemporary artist since the French label launched graffiti-decorated handbags, designed by Stephen Sprouse in 2001. Another fine example within the polka dot trend is a bold set of cufflinks, a piece from Other Criteria, inspired by the work of Damien Hirst, one of the brightest minds in contemporary art.
Hirst is internationally renowned for his experimental works, excellent use of geometry and a tireless exploration of color. His oeuvre served as the muse behind the design of these splendid enamel cufflinks, which come in four different colors: orange, red, yellow and blue. They are part of an extensive collection of objects inspired by the most representative work of the British artist.
Whimsical collection items, both the Diamond Tambour Dots Infinity watch and Hirst´s cufflinks have become emblematic pieces inspired by polka dots. ■