The stripped-down presentation of bare, white lighting, a simple guitar soundtrack and slow-motion modeling was classic Yohji Yamamoto. So too was the lean, black tailoring that opened his spring show, a series of jackets and skirts — mini- and ankle-length — with slits and relatively subtle deconstruction at the shoulders that suggested a sexy direction.
It proved to be just a suggestion, as Yamamoto set about a seemingly rudderless course, veering from sporty neon layers to pixelated camouflage to spongy knit gowns. There were also exaggerated shirtdresses, deconstructed dandies and looks similar to the those that opened the show, but reworked in electric colors.
Besides being sprung from Yamamoto’s general design vocabulary, it was difficult to see what the groups had in common. Such disparate aesthetics ultimately competed with each other: the young, colorful and kooky versus the avant and elegant. Each had strong moments, but Yamamoto’s twisted basics — a lean black bustier dress with camo sleeves; white shirts with black sleeves layered on and partially ripped off — were more compelling.