Yohji Yamamoto Unplugged at Soho House Berlin

The second installment in the four-part Yohji-thon during Berlin Gallery Weekend provided another intriguing view of the Japanese designer and his work.

Yohji Yamamoto with Terry Jones.

YOHJI UNPLUGGED: “An Evening with Yohji Yamamoto” at Soho House Berlin, the second installment in the four-part Yohji-thon during Berlin Gallery Weekend, provided another intriguing view of the Japanese designer and his work. Yamamoto bared a great deal in conversation with i-D’s Terry Jones and architectural designer Asif Khan. Among the tidbits Yamamoto served up Friday night:

On how he developed his personal taste: “I’m a big victim of women. I have been controlled by femme fatales for more than 60 years. And even now.”

On the difference between taste and fashion:
“I hate fashion. Or the word fashion, which sounds colorful, extravagant, expensive and gorgeous.…I never wanted to walk the main street of fashion. I have been walking the sidewalks of fashion from the beginning, so I’m a bit dark.”

This story first appeared in the April 30, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

On explaining his style: “I have no style as Mr. Yohji Yamamoto. I’m working each season against something, always antisomething though I can’t remember it all. Mainly I design clothing as an antitrend, antifashion [so] naturally I’m spending my life in a big paradox….I don’t really trust my point of view always, and sometimes rebel against myself too. I only like it when my work surprises myself. I don’t feel my work has a style. It’s more about the approach I take. It has to make me happy somehow, even though it makes me sad a lot.”

RELATED STORY: Berlin’s Gallery Weekend Kicks Off With Yamamoto Show >>

On the real/young Yohji: “I’m from the typical story of WWII, the only son of a WWII war widow. I had no idea of the meaning of family. We were just the two [of us], and she was missing her husband of whom I had no memory. She was expecting two men from me and I feel I’ve been carrying big luggage on my shoulders since I was five years old. Sometimes my mother told me directly ‘Yohji, you are the only reason I live.’ It was terrifying.”

On his clothes always seeming to protect the woman: “I told you already, I’m a victim of women. I naturally love women but at the same time, I hate. I want revenge in some way. The reason I could continue to work till now is revenging.”

On whether women are better clothed or unclothed: “Better clothed. As much as possible!”

On the greatest lesson learned from his mother so far: A long silence…“She was too busy to educate me, she just worked and worked. One day when I was a primary school student, I stole something from a shop. I found a very charming new eraser. The color was sort of pink and pale green. It looked delicious, and I ate it. And then I found out it was an eraser. I know I’d done a wrong, bad thing. One of my ex-ex-ex brothers [friends] told the story to my mother. My mother fell to the floor and started crying. She rolled around and around on the tatami mat, and I felt very sexy. So — I found out my mother is a woman. It was a big education.”

load comments


Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.
blog comments powered by Disqus