A couples night ago, artist and queen of our hearts Yoko Ono unveiled a full line of menswear in collaboration with Opening Ceremony that brought to life decades-old fashion sketches she had first dreamt up for her then-husband John Lennon. Everything in the collection was first drawn by Ono in 1969 for a project called Fashions For Men, which was dedicated to showing off what she describes as Lennon’s “very sexy bod.” True to her life as a punk and an artist since the 1950s, a woman who’s challenged people by scream-singing over live Lennon songs and hosting bed-ins for peace in Toronto hotels, her first foray into fashion is similarly subversive: pants with holes cutout on the back to expose the bum (a reference to a photo series she did in the 1960s), a hoodie with a butt drawn on the front and a jock strap with an LED on the crotch. I asked her a few short questions about her lewd looks, and she gave short and typically incredible Ono-ian resposnes.
You’ve always loved showing off the bum in photos and art projects—what attracts you to jock straps and pants that show off the buttocks so much? I think it is a pity that it is a spot people ignore.
You’ve gone through famous color phases with your own wardrobe—white and black. Why now pink for your Opening Ceremony collection? I like the color pink for men. I saw a photo of John wearing pink suits, going or coming back from their Japan tour, and thought it was very becoming on him. Also, it’s a color that people usually associate with women, without knowing how good a guy can look in it.
Is putting hands on the crotches of pants and exposing the buttocks a statement about sexuality? Safe sex is not bad, especially when it’s “conceptual.”
After all these years and countless projects, why design clothing now? I always wanted to put this line of clothing out in the world. But the humor of it was not understood, maybe, until now.