Must Have: Li Xiaofeng's Lacoste polo shirt

Collaborations between international fashion houses and Chinese artists have become de rigeur in recent years. Lacoste asked Chinese artist Li Xiaofeng to create two different polos for its 2010 Holiday Collector’s Series and the result is quite interesting. Li is known for his clothing sculptures using broken porcelain shards recovered from ancient archaeological digs, some dating from the Ming Dynasty. Here, he’s created a limited edition printed polo, using shards of blue and white porcelain from the Kangxi Period with lotus and babies designs. This particular type of folk ceramics reflected the Imperial taste at that time and was only used by the upper classes, as technically the painted blue background on a white base that delineated the figures was more complex to produce. Li first shaped and polished the shards as usual, but instead of drilling holes and linking them with wire, he photographed each (251 for the men’s polo and 304 for the women’s) and placed them one by one in a life-size digital pattern of the polo’s front, back and sleeves. The final touch was the addition of a white Lacoste crocodile logo, the rarest breed in the brand’s collection. The printed Porcelain Polo is limited to 20,000 pieces for both men and women. Li also created a Porcelain Polo art work using new porcelain shards (China forbids the export of ancient artefacts including porcelain shards). Inspired by the early Ming Dynasty, he painted porcelain bowls with images of a scholar contemplating a scenic landscape surrounded by what is referred to as the ‘Four Gentlemen’ in classical Chinese painting - namely an orchid, bamboo, chrysanthemum and plum blossom. He also drew the crocodile logo and letters on the bowls as well as the phoenix, a symbol of good fortune. The Porcelain Polo was unveiled in Paris on Friday at the Musée des Arts et Métiers and will be shown in Bejing in the fall at Li Xiaofeng’s first one-man show organized by the Red Gate Gallery.