Yohji Yamamoto’s obsession with the philosophy of “air between the body” was the main theme here, with a focus on light-as-air garments, presented on a runway running through one of the halls of Les Arts Décoratifs, with a row of upturned silver photographers’ umbrellas overhead.
“We started to think about the very lightest fabrics. We have the lightest Gore-Tex fabrics ever made; Adizero fabrics, which we use for athletes but put into [the context of] Yohji’s cutting, garments in a new context,” said Nic Galway, Adidas Originals’ global senior vice president of design, backstage before the show.
The designer filtered references from the worlds of parachuting and sailing through his aesthetic, with parkas and dresses extending into billowing trains printed with a mock Y-3 spinnaker, and windbreakers elongated into large A-line coats worked with colorful graphics inspired by hang glider wings.
Among the billowing silky nylon sleeves and large pants, there was a sense of leaving things open to breathe, like on the three-stripe long-sleeve T-shirts with cutouts at the shoulders.
A Japanese feel came through on skirts and pants with suspenders that had a samurai vibe and on the fanny packs recalling obi belts.
Key fabrics included Shakedry Gore-Tex, the lightest Gore-Tex in the world, used on hooded utility jackets; an engineered patchwork mesh and spandex jersey, used on exaggerated women’s skirts, dresses and jumpsuits.
Interrupting the main black and white palette were shots of petrol green, kumo gray and red.
A new spin on the Y-3 logo, featuring a heart and skull motif, appeared on the backs of sweatshirts and bombers.
Footwear launches included the Raito Racer, with a translucent outsole and a one-piece Primeknit upper that wraps the foot, and the Ren with exaggerated midsole pods.
Billed as the first 4-D shoe, the Y-3 Runner 4-D, which is crafted with light and oxygen using Digital Light Synthesis, was also extended in new colorways.
Yamamoto backstage spoke of the ever-growing popularity of sportswear, and how fashionable sport-minded kids look compared to “ordinary fashion,” which “has started looking pretty boring.”
“For us this trend is quite welcome, because it’s fun to work on,” he said.
Yamamoto, who said he had been chatting to Galway about the history of sneakers, also spoke of how unsightly a lot of the sneaker designs had become.
“Adidas started sneakers in the 1940s, originally to help make it easier for people to walk or run,” he said. “But, at some moment, sneakers started looking like monsters,” added Yamamoto. “At Y-3, we don’t do monsters.”