Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

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Second Skin

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Just when it seemed like things were cooling down for Takashi Murakami, the holidays roll around and everyone in retail goes completely insane.

In the case of Louis Vuitton, that means wrapping an entire store in a vinyl sheet imprinted with your latest pattern. As branding moves go, it’s hard to beat dressing up your store as an enormous handbag, although Marc Jacobs could still top it by tattooing his name across his forehead.

Mostly we’re just surprised they’re still standing by Takashi after so long. After all, the store doesn’t look that different from one of the walls at Murakami’s Brooklyn Museum exhibit when this whole crazy trip started off.

Maybe they’re in it for art after all.

Falling Into a Pattern

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George Carlin once said that America is good at two things: taking a good idea and running it completely into the ground and taking a bad idea and running it completely into the ground. We’re feeling charitable, so we’ll say this is a case of the former.

We like Takashi Murakami, and Marc Jacobs has been on his game lately, but their Monogramouflage pattern has officially reached the saturation point. This, for instance, is just embarrassing. Designed as a reader giveaway for Numero Tokyo, a Japanese high fashion mag, the mousepad may mark the moment when we got tired of the whole idea of luxury patterns.

That’s right. It’s a mousepad.

It’s no wonder Jacobs is trying to scale back the collaborations. If he isn’t careful, he may end up in the computer business.

Pattern Recognition

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Marc Jacobs and Takashi Murakami’s long-discussed Louis Vuitton Monogramouflage pattern was unveiled at Thursday’s gala exhibit opening and, as you might have expected from the impish Murakami, it takes the logo to some very new places.

Messrs. Jacobs and Murakami keep LV’s geometric symbols, but switch up the regal purple-and-gold pattern for a squiggly pop-art camo that’s more suited to comic books than oil paintings. It’s more in line with Murakami’s aesthetic than Jacobs’ or Louis Vuitton’s, and it raises more than a few questions about where Jacobs plans to take the brand»