In the logo-a-go-go time of luxury flagship experiences and look-at-me social media influencers, Yohji Yamamoto’s clothes seem radical again.
His slow-moving runway is a moment of quietude when one is forced to focus on form not flash. And now more than ever, that felt honest and authentic.
Every one of his collections is a conversation between past and present, between the romance of 18th- and 19th-century dress and the street.
Exhibit A: Cool denim is having a moment, and in Yamamoto’s hands, it was divinely feminine — blue denim and black silk cut into a long, languid coat; a blue denim shirt with frilled cuffs spilling out of a black jean jacket over a tiered full skirt, leggings and sneakers. It looked very now.
And in a season all about tailoring, his had real drama; a peak, and I mean peak, lapel, pointed shoulder single-button blazer was gorgeous over a cravat blouse and ankle-skimming skirt, while a trenchcoat cut up and fused with a denim jacket proved that deconstruction, which has been resurfacing on some runways as of late, takes a lot of skill.
Blazers with asymmetric peplums looked beautiful over draped and sculpted plissé skirts, grounded with combat boots. What young person now wouldn’t want to wear that?
The patched jeans as base layers, sneakers (even they were dressed — with some pairs draped in fabric) and swingy puffer jackets, which looked like no others out there, were also contemporary-feeling.
Of course, there were no celebs in the front row, and there was no scary scrum outside. But Yamamoto knows how to put on his show: the pair of models who came out together for the finale, in cable-knit bubble skirts and conical hats sprouting yarn tentacles, felt like a throwback to the heyday of runway fashion in the 1980s when he was just emerging. The only fireworks needed were the clothes.