“I have a little bit of the heebie-jeebies by ‘art inspired by fashion’—or art printed on fashion,” said designer Zac Posen during a recent on-stage conversation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Look no further than H&M’s new “fashion loves art collaboration” for an example of what Posen meant.
Last night the Swedish fast fashion juggernaut, the lead sponsor of the Whitney’s Jeff Koons-o-rama, inaugurated its new 57,000-square-foot Fifth Avenue flagship by plastering the place with images of the artist’s monumental Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994-2000). H&M has also printed an image of the celebrated Celebration series sculpture on a black leather handbag that it touts as “the ultimate art-meets-fashion statement from the ultimate post-pop artist.”
The bag, yours for $49.50 and a little piece of your soul, reduces the ten-foot-tall chromium steel pup back to its original birthday-clown proportions, leaving little more than a Koonsian logo that evokes the queasy feeling to which Posen referred. And if H&M’s doggie bag looks familiar, it’s because designer Lisa Perry produced a nearly identical tote (pictured at right) as part of her 2012 collaboration with Koons.