Art | Need To Now

The most fashionably dressed… gnomes

Eley Kishimoto celebrates 20 years with a brilliantly bonkers art edition

The most fashionably dressed… gnomes

November 30 2012
Nicole Swengley

What quirkily unusual gift would delight a collector of curios, a fashionista with a penchant for pattern and a gardener with a good sense of humour? Answer: a limited-edition, hand-painted gnome (£170) by cult fashion brand Eley Kishimoto.

It’s typical of cool, left-field design duo Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto that they’ve chosen to celebrate 20 years in the business by producing, of all things, gnomes, each painted in their London studio with the company’s signature Flash print. Standing 30cm tall, the ceramic figures originally featured in their London Fashion Week spring/summer 2013 presentation, and are now available in a numbered edition of 101, from Saturday December 1 (though, sadly for those looking to enliven their gardens, they are for indoor use only).

As well as their own fashion collections, Eley Kishimoto’s vibrant, intelligent prints have been paraded up and down the world’s catwalks, thanks to creative collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, Alber Elbaz and Jil Sander. The duo’s adventurous approach to print design has earned them a reputation for aesthetic verve, and alongside their sartorial projects they have also created products suited to chic domestic settings, including dynamic wallpapers, furnishing fabrics, glassware and crockery, alongside work for the automotive, architectural and electronic industries.

As the company continues to develop its intriguing design aesthetic and make its mark in the international creative arena, these gnomes function as playfully collectable artworks celebrating a significant moment in its evolution, as well as delightful, odd gifts.