Yohji Yamamoto: The aficionado's designer at his best
Those wanting to behold a pure statement of fashion creation should do their best to catch online the latest collection by Yohji Yamamoto. Due to the pandemic there was actually only one proper runway show at Paris Fashion Week on Friday, but at least it was a great one.
It was presented with great avant-garde élan on a dank night inside the giant gilded Salle des Fêtes of the French capital's City Hall, the perfect juxtaposition to an entirely black and white collection.
Few people in fashion have ever draped as well as Yamamoto, who sculpted, wrapped and hung intricate shards of silk and fine wool around his angelic cast. Before going into a prolonged spasm of activity at the finale, using hangers and raw wire crinolines to make fabric practically explode off the models' torsos.
The show comes at a moment when Yamamoto has rarely been busier – with rumors of multiple collaborations with such diverse brands as Hublot, Supreme and Lamborghini.
"The problem is maybe I have become too famous," deadpanned the sibylline designer.
Yamamoto likes to make his work speak for itself; like the perfectly judged coat-dresses cut with an effortless line that you could see the models adored wearing. Or the exotic indie screen goddess gowns that would turn heads anywhere on the planet. The technique throughout was audacious, with fabric in the shape of stunning cacti, jagged leaves or angry tentacles. At one stage he dreamed up a dry wool dress that looked from the front to be made up of a pair of gentleman’s pants, and from the back an elongated bolero. The intricate hairstyles, intersected with black cock feathers, in a fabulous performance by hairstylist Eugene Souleiman adding to the sense of exotic ritual.
"I am not an artist, maybe a kind of one. But when artists send political messages that is not very good. What I wanted was to be on the side of human beings, even if human beings are not always good," opined Yamamoto, whose protective style of swaddling women in swathes of fabric seems just right for our troubled times.
One had to enquire if this 76 year old ever hesitated about flying 11 hours from his headquarters in Tokyo this season to stage a collection in Paris?
"No, not really. Once I knew that there was going to be a season in Paris, I said 'let’s just do it!'"
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