The Neverending Weirdness of Yoko Ono

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Oh, Yoko. The nearly 80-year-old "petite poly-hyphenate," via the New York Times' Jacob Bernstein, has stayed busy, doing talk shows and benefits and fund-raisers, awarding her Peace Prize to the members of Pussy Riot, working on art and feminist projects as well as jewelry collections, fighting fracking and hunger, working on a new album with her son, Sean, and engaging in the New York social scene. She is also designing men's wear for Opening Ceremony. It is ... well, look for yourself:

Bernstein writes in his "Thursday Styles" piece that upon his meeting with Ono at the "trendy fashion emporium" helmed by Humberto Leon, "Ms. Ono pointed to another sketch, this time with arrows pointing at the nipples, and directions that read: 'holes to put flowers (fresh) in.'" Ah! "Moments later, an assistant brought over kneepads with eyes drawn on them. Why bother asking what they were designed for? Suffice it to say, Ms. Ono’s target demographic does not appear to be members of the National Football League."

Ono, disturbed that women were always the ones being "sexually objectified by designers," had wanted to do men's clothing back in the '60s, to allow women to enjoy men's sexuality for a change. But the world was perhaps not ready for it. Now, Bernstein writes, "the male body ... a Madison Avenue commodity," her line is out, and Ono is not that woman who broke up the Beatles, "but as an elder stateswoman of cool; a reminder of what New York used to be before it was taken over by hedge fund types." Her designs are punk, mod, edgy, titillating, weird, challenging, and fun, and Leon "jumped at the chance to work with her." That piece with the bells-as-breasts? It says "Ring for your mommy" underneath the bells. 

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As for that breaking up the Beatles thing, maybe it's finally, really, truly been debunked, for more than once and all. From Bernstein:

And on Wednesday, the Library of Congress announced that it was releasing dozens of interviews between former Capital Records president Joe Smith and music luminaries, including ones with Ms. Ono where she candidly discussed the split of the Beatles and claimed it was actually Ringo Starr, who initiated the breakup of the group. (Those interviews comes after a recent interview Paul McCartney gave in which he, too, said Ms. Ono had nothing to do with the band’s demise).

That this article on Ono comes just days after a piece in the Times promoted Martha Stewart as an alleged hipster icon is not lost on us. If 79-year-old Yoko is cutting-edge, eclectic, and more active and vibrant than ever, and 71-year-old Stewart embodies the current "artisanal DIY" spirit, well, the main thing we're going to take from that is that the Times' current trend of acknowledging women older than 40 who are doing awesome things is itself rather awesome.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.