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Art Attack:

May 8, 2012

Koons Couture

King of Kitsch artist Jeff Koons may be extremely polarizing, but his works do pop when fashioned into wearable art

By Nancy Staab

Pink Panthers, ice cream sundaes, balloon bunnies and a sunny monkey print characterize Lisa Perry’s Pop Fashion Collaboration with Artist Jeff Koons. Just Call It “Koons-ture!”

Lisa Perry's Fashion Collaboration with artist Jeff Koons Lisa Perry's Fashion Collaboration with artist Jeff Koons

Imagine having the entire archives of pop artist Jeff Koons to rifle through when planning your capsule Koons fashion collection and the permission of the contemporary artist, himself, to reproduce his visual gags as garments. That is exactly what happened when NYC fashion designer/art collector Lisa Perry, known for her Mod 60s style, collaborated with Koons on a limited-edition collection of clothes and accessories.  (Previously, Perry produced collections inspired by the art of Lichtenstein and Warhol.)

Jeff Koons, Lisa Perry, and W  editor Stefano Tonschi Jeff Koons, Lisa Perry, and W editor Stefano Tonschi

But which of Koons works would Perry channel: the metallic balloon dog, the flower puppy, Michael Jackson and Bubbles, the inflatable lobster, or the sculpture of Koons cavorting with (gasp) his Italian prostitute-turned-politician first wife Cicciolina? Actually, Cicciolina does make an appearance, though it’s only a tasteful view of her bare back cradling a Pink Panther over her shoulder, in Perry’s Pink Panther shift dress. True to Perry’s playful nature, the plain front of the white sequin dress bears no hint of Koon’s impish art splashed on the back. Ditto a white leather motorcycle jacket emblazoned with a silver balloon bunny on the reverse.

The perennially sunny-natured Perry is known for her color-saturated, Pop-y fashion style and this is best personified in the yellow A-line dress splashed with Koons’ “Monkey Train (Birds)” 2007 screenprint. Meanwhile, naughty but nice girls might spring for the innocence of the sweet ice cream sundae dress with a cheeky cherry on top. A set of bangles round out the collection, with the promise of more items to come. 

Perry and her art-collector husband hosted a party for Koons to honor the fashion collaboration. According to WWD magazine, which documented the party, lucky guests sat down to a table decorated with balloon bunny centerpieces (not by Koons) and feasted on, what else, chicken Pop pies!

Prices from $295 to $2,750. For more info visit



Crazy for Koons? You can crawl momentarily into the artist’s crazy head via the controversial new show Skin Fruit  (June 6-June 20, 2012) that he has curated for the New Museum in NYC. The show is the first in a planned series of guest-curated exhibits of private collections entitled “Imaginary Museums.” Koons selected over 100 choice contemporary works from Greek tycoon/collector Dakis Joannou for the show. Though Joannou is an avid Koons collector, only one Koons piece is exhibited (floating basketballs in a water tank: a playful prodding of Damien Hirst’s oeuvre perhaps?), alongside noted, works by international artists such as Richard Gober, Terrence Koh, Liza Lou, Charles Ray and Jenny Holzer.

“Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Jannou Collection,” curated by Jeff Koons at the New Museum, June 6-June 20, 235 Bowery, New York, NY, 212.219.1222,