Order from chaos? Nah. That wasn’t Yohji Yamamoto’s thing for fall. Instead, he did the opposite, taking the most regulated, buttoned-up clothing, the military uniform, and riffing on it, magnifying buttons and stamping them with bats, bugs and scorpions, embellishing at random, and going wild with design.
The collection, done entirely in shades of dark blue, with white string embroideries and fat gold buttons, was a vision of military men gone AWOL, and giving into their artistic impulses. What a joyous, and surreal, parade it was.
Gold buttons on a jacket appeared to have lost their way, veering up the lapel and landing on the shoulder, or twisting around the arm. Another jacket had too many rows of holes and buttons that fastened haphazardly, as if its owner had donned it after one too many bottles of BrewDog.
What appeared to be small gold coins shimmered from the front of a coat like the necklace of a Greek goddess, while fat buttons on other toppers were strung with long, delicate chains and little charms. Frogging on coats was wild and messy and looked like strings of licorice or crude bits of rope, as if they’d been pieced together after a shipwreck. White strings were used for spidery, embroidered designs and then sprouted from the surface of coats.
The designer was in a jolly mood backstage, saying he wanted to send a message of hope and was inspired by army clothing and “Amazing Grace,” an instrumental version of which closed the show. Mostly, Yamamoto said, he wanted to “make chaos” with myriad ideas. He called the dangling charms a “little joke” and admitted that his buttons weren’t all fit for a purpose. As for the strings, he said, tongue in cheek, “I forgot to cut them.”