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11.28.12

Yoko Ono’s Fashion Debut

The artist has released a collection of menswear inspired by sketches she made for John Lennon in 1969. She talks to Misty White Sidell about why it’s all about having a laugh.

You may know Yoko Ono as a conceptual artist, and activist, and the wife of John Lennon—but as of this week, she’s added another credential to that list: fashion designer.

The international cool-kid boutique Opening Ceremony has created garments from several fashion sketches Ono made as a wedding gift to Lennon in 1969. And last night, OC feted the collection in its New York store. “She really wanted to celebrate every part that she loved about him,” OC’s co-founder Humberto Leon told The Daily Beast. And judging from the collection’s light-up codpieces ($200), pants with see-through rear window ($250), and handprint-embellished crotches ($335), it’s easy to pinpoint which of Lennon’s parts that Ono loved the most. “They’re like nipple headlights,” Ono’s son, Sean Lennon, was overheard explaining of a bandeau top baring two anatomically-positioned flashing lights ($250), “They’re great for when you ride your bike at night.”

The collection beholds additional conceptual accessories too. Like breastplate necklace baring two school bells that reads, “Ring for your Mommy” and pair of knee-high black boots featuring a set of Moroccan-type incense burners at the toe—each one only produced in a limited-edition run of 52, a number chosen for its numerology properties. “She’s an amazing artist, I think these pieces really reflect her,” Leon explained.

Ono’s pieces may appear unorthodox to the average eye, but they make perfect sense to fans that are fluent in her eccentric language. “I love the peep T-shirt with an arm cutout,” George Carr, a 63-year-old fashion designer, told The Daily Beast at last night’s signing. Standing in line with three posters and two books that awaited Ono’s signature, Carr explained his appreciation for her artistic take on fashion. “Her first song I remember was “Scream,” and her scream is still with me and I embrace her scream,” he enthused, “Her scream is everywhere but to me it’s one of beauty, not of horror.”

Ono soon appeared, baring her cleavage in a mesh bra and wearing no less than two layered top hats with small porcelain figurines lining their brims. The room’s beanie-clad moppets gathered-round in search of her existential love, breathing heavily each time she threw a peace sign in the direction of their smartphone cameras.

“People are scared of having sex,” Yoko Ono says when asked about the pants she has designed. “I wanted to give them at least some conceptual fun.”

Here, Ono chats with The Daily Beast about her new fashion venture:

Fashion Beast: Why did you decide to collaborate with Opening Ceremony?

YO: Because they are the hippest and the best.

FB: Who do you imagine wearing these designs?

YO: Anybody who has sense of humor.

FB: What do you think is the most special part of your designs?

YO: That it’s a bit outrageous in the way that makes people relax and laugh. We need some laughter in the world. I hope I will give it to them with these gorgeous clothes. The world is in such turmoil. People are all scared. Let’s give them fun.

FB: Explain your pants design—why the sheer detailing in the behind? Is there a certain symbolism behind the rear window? And what about the hand over the pant’s crotch?

YO: People are scared of having sex. I wanted to give them at least some conceptual fun.

FB: What is the intention behind the bell board you've designed? What is it supposed to do?

YO: A bell is to call your mommy. Each time you ring the bell, think of your mom. She will appreciate that.