Racked Road Tests Yoko Ono’s Opening Ceremony Pants

by Kerry Folan, Racked

Every once in a while, fashion goes so far out on a limb that we are all forced to ask ourselves, “Could you really wear that in real life?” Today, Racked set out to answer that question in regards to the pants Yoko Ono designed for Opening Ceremony. They are part of a full collection of sexually provocative garments inspired by Ono’s former husband John Lennon and available at Opening Ceremony for $335. Racked contributor Joshua David Stein road tested the pink and black “hand trousers,” and we caught it all on camera. Read on to see how they translate from the rack to reality.

Hello, my name is Joshua David Stein. Yesterday I found myself in a pair of avant garde pants designed by the artist Yoko Ono for Opening Ceremony. Much has been written of these pants, but much of it by people who haven’t found themselves inside of them. (There are only a limited number of pairs extant and they cost $335.)

There can be no doubt that these are ridiculous and not serious pants. They are, after all, pink pants with a black hand sewn over the crotch. (They also come in white with black hands and black with white hands.) But they are also well-made slacks, generously lined in acetate with a woolen fabric that has a great hand feel and elegant weight. They’re cut slimly, but not too slimly and, importantly, with a generous crotchline.

However, the measure of pants isn’t how they feel but how you feel about them and, since how I feel about things is largely dictated by how people feel about me vis-a-vis the thing in question, I took my pants out into the world. I have to say, I have always thought Yoko Ono is shite as a fine artist. Her installations seem blah, their conceptual underpinnings sagging underneath her public persona. But the woman is a born pants maker. These pants are great pants. Not because they are well-made, though they are, but because they are pants that force an engagement with the world. By sewing a hand to rub up against my penis every time I take a step, Ms. Ono also asks others to rub against me and me to rub against them. Not, of course, in a Squid and the Whale way but more in a cross cultural dialogue kinda way.

What’s more is that they are gently provocative without being vulgar, playful without being crass. So the tenor of the interactions whilst wearing these slacks was largely benign, playful, full of what Buddhists call metta. And so I changed my pants and it changed the world, one glance at my crotch at a time.—Joshua David Stein

This holiday season, Opening Ceremony has teamed up with artist, writer, musician, and cultural icon YOKO ONO to create a very special collection titled “Fashions for Men: 1969-2012.”

This video is intended for mature audiences

The collection is based on a compilation of hand-drawn illustrations presented to John Lennon by ONO on the occasion of their wedding.

Forty-three years later, Opening Ceremony and ONO have worked together to bring a select group of these drawings to life, creating unisex apparel, footwear, and accessories in exclusive editions of only 52 pieces, as well as a limited run of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and posters featuring ONO’s artwork.

“Fashions for Men: 1969-2012” is exclusive to Opening Ceremony.

The collection will be available at:

  • All US stores – November 27, 2012
  • Tokyo store (Shibuya Seibu Movida) – December 9, 2012
  • London store – November 30, 2012.

To celebrate this cheeky launch you are invited to a book signing with YOKO ONO at the Opening Ceremony store in New York on Tuesday, November 27, 2012.

RSVP to: [email protected]

35 Howard Street
New York, 10013

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
5pm – 7pm

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Yoko Ono Designs Men’s Line With Opening Ceremony

by David Lipke, Women’s Wear Daily

Yoko Ono has tried her hand at art, music, filmmaking and books — and now she’s bringing her idiosyncratic vision to men’s wear design. Ono has partnered with Opening Ceremony to create a limited-edition line of 18 styles that will launch at the retailer’s stores beginning next week.

The collection is based on a series of drawings titled “Fashions for Men” that Ono sketched as a gift for her late husband John Lennon on the occasion of their wedding in 1969. The artworks included playful renderings of tailored pieces, sportswear, footwear, headwear and other accessories, all of which have been compiled in a softcover book ($35) that will accompany the Opening Ceremony launch. The sketches are annotated with Ono’s instructions for colors, design flourishes and details.

“I was inspired to create ‘Fashions for Men’ amazed at how my man was looking so great. I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod,” explained Ono of the original impetus for her designs 43 years ago, which are only now coming to fruition. “So, I made this whole series with love for his hot bod and gave it to him as a wedding present. You can imagine how he went wild and fell in love with me even more.”

The line will be available in Opening Ceremony’s U.S. stores in New York and Los Angeles on Tuesday, its London store on Nov. 30 and its Tokyo flagship on Dec. 9. Ono will host a book signing at the Opening Ceremony store on Howard Street in New York on Tuesday evening and another signing at the Tokyo store on Dec. 9.

Ono’s eccentricity and penchant for quirks are evident in the playful collection, which includes suit pants adorned with a hand cutout sewn over the crotch and a jersey pullover with eyelets cut out over the nipple region. A separate “lightbulb bra,” which is embedded with battery-operated light bulbs, can be worn underneath the pullover.

Jersey pants, jersey blazers and mesh tops are crafted with symmetric circular cutouts, recalling Ono’s seminal “Cut Piece” performance art stagings, in which audience members scissored off scraps of her clothing.

“I think she just fell in love with John’s body and wanted to show off all of the parts of his body that she loved,” said Humberto Leon, cofounder of Opening Ceremony. “There’s something so beautiful about that sentiment. And we’ve realized these designs in pretty actual terms of how she drew them.”

Each design in the Opening Ceremony line is produced in a run of 52 pieces, a number the numerology-prone Ono believes to be felicitous. However, there are larger runs of sweatshirts and posters decorated with Ono’s line drawings.

The hoodies will retail for $75 while a limited-edition eyelet tank top will retail for $150, a mesh pullover with circular cutouts for $145, wool suit trousers with the hand insignia for $335, a wool tailored blazer for $595 and the “lightbulb bra” for $250. There are two styles of boots, including a thigh-high design with an open toe and another with a conical incense holder at the toe, both retailing for $750.

Ono’s sketches from 1969 are childlike in their simplicity and humorous in their matter-of-fact approach to how men should dress. “Kneewear [for] when you have short pants or pants with special Yoko Ono knee holes on,” she noted of her knee pads decorated with a pair of eyes. Opening Ceremony produced those knee pads, as well as a jock strap, for the collection.

Other pieces, however, didn’t make it into production, such as underwear fashioned from a rigid mask. Another outfit, titled Dinnerwear, is comprised of just pants attached to a long lion’s tail in the rear. “Wear perfume on top,” advised Ono with the sketch, “also, dog leash optional and gloves.”

Leon and his business partner, Carol Lim — who are also creative directors of Paris-based Kenzo, a unit of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton — first met Ono when she attended the kick-off party for their Opening Ceremony flagship in Tokyo in 2009. “We really hit it off,” said Leon. “We loved the idea of sort of celebrating the holidays with Yoko with this collection.”

Presenting Yoko Ono ‘Fashions for Men 1969-2012’, exclusively at Opening Ceremony

from Opening Ceremony blog

In 1969, Yoko Ono presented John Lennon with a series of sketches as a wedding gift. The illustrations were designs for clothing and accessories intended to celebrate John’s “hot bod.” As Yoko explains, “I was inspired to create ‘Fashions for Men,’ [because I was] amazed at how my man was looking so great. I felt it was a pity if we could not make clothes emphasizing his very sexy bod.” This season, 48 years after John and Yoko’s wedding, Yoko and Opening Ceremony have worked together to bring her sketches to life!

Today, the collection launches exclusively at Opening Ceremony. The limited-edition clothing styles run from peekaboo pants with handprint patches and sheer behinds, to hot pink blazers with mesh sleeves and tanks with nipple cutouts. To accessorize the latter, Yoko has even dreamed up a flashing LED bra. Playful interactive elements define the accessories collection, which also includes leather belts with working chrome bells, and knee-high boots with pockets. Each piece is part of a limited run of only 52 and is available only at OC.

We couldn’t be more excited to have worked with Yoko to make her designs a reality, and if you’re in New York tonight, come JOIN US to celebrate!

Shop all Yoko Ono Fashions for Men 1969-2012 at Opening Ceremony.