Yohji Yamamoto says he’s been asked the question at least a thousand times: Why black? His spring Y-3 collection, inspired by surfing and tropical gardens, was the answer, to “let people know Yohji can use color,” he said backstage.

Though he kicked off in a somber mode, with black blousons in matte and shiny textures and baggy cropped pants, the Japanese designer let loose with Hawaiian-style floral prints that were spliced in as panels on a black suit or a slinky silver zip-up jacket, or used as a top-to-toe motif on the closing look.

An artificial shade of light green appeared as piping on a black blouson jacket, and in a dégradé T-shirt paired with gray Neoprene jogging pants.

“For the holiday season, so many people go to the islands and they enjoy the beach, swimming and surfing,” said Yamamoto, confessing a passion for swimming and diving, without equipment, and feeling reborn under the water. So what color does he wear on the beach? “Black,” he replied with a grin.

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