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Yohji Yamamoto showed just why he’s a sports authority with his Y’s collection. Martin Margiela, for his part, says two skirts are better than one.
This story first appeared in the October 4, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto: Since signing his Adidas deal, Yohji Yamamoto has been fascinated with both the uniforms and the people of a workaday world. Last fall, his signature collection boasted a battalion of Rosie the Riveter types in their overalls and jumpsuits. Now, with the Yohji Yamamoto collection being shown during couture, the designer hopes to build business at Y’s. And so for spring, Yohji headed right back and took a double-dip into that workwear pool, playing the uniform thing to the hilt.
The first two models stepped out, peeled down their coveralls to the waist and knotted the sleeves in a droll bow as the soundtrack whined, “We are the robots.” Then, like widgets rolling down an assembly line, out came the rest, in a glut of oversized pedestrian gear, à la the grease monkey and suburban drone alike. There was a slew of tank tops, some with their necklines sloping off to one side and others stitched up with hasty repairs, that topped baggy pants, some graced with pouch pockets big enough to carry home the groceries. And speaking of big, that’s exactly the way Yohji cuts his trench coats and dark, hunch-shouldered suit jackets.
While it didn’t look as fresh on the runway the second time around, Yamamoto made his point — Y’s is full of wearable clothes. And at a new price level — between 20 and 30 percent lower — the designer is sure to snag a lot more fans.
Martin Margiela: Love, or something like it, is in the air, and now even Mr. Austerity, Martin Margiela, has sexy dressing on the brain. It’s not bombshell sexy — miniskirts and corsets aren’t his thing, of course — but his spring collection was full of clothes that make tentatively provocative gestures.
Models wore two circle skirts, one for modesty’s sake and the other lifted high and pulled overhead to fashion a draped halter top. In fact, most of Margiela’s chicks just couldn’t keep their hems from flipping up or the tops of their dresses from flipping down. They wore doubled dresses with the top layer hiked up high to reveal the one underneath, and lacy slipdresses worn as skirts with their top parts dropped and hanging. Margiela’s industrial striptease meant that even the craftiest looks, like a bustier made from stacked shoelaces or a zippered top veiled in tulle, had a certain steam.
While Marilyn Monroe standing on a subway grate it was not, Margiela is inching toward something new. He’s left the bulky, Eastern Bloc look behind and managed to bring a little perkiness to the discipline of deconstruction.