Yohji Yamamoto’s spring collection was brimming with the fashion for which he’s famous. Black. Wrapping. Draping. Deconstruction. Corseting. Boning. Hoop skirts. There was romance. There was melancholy. There were sneakers.
If by no means mainstream, the collection didn’t shock or deliver a surge of emotion despite the show’s solemn, slow pace and stirring music cut with moments of silence that suggested something big and deep was asunder. Profundity is an unfair expectation to hold any designer to, but it is always the hope for a designer of Yamamoto’s grade, who’s capable of pulling a rabbit out of his hat at any given moment on the runway.
Rather, this was a classic display of Yamamoto clothes, masterfully constructed and often beautiful in his wistfully dark way. Black fabric came gracefully draped and knotted around the body in asymmetric versions of Greco-Roman and Japanese robes. Lean and sensual, flashing flesh here and there, the silhouettes took on an urban tone when paired with high-top sneakers. In a shift to corroded romance, corsets overflowed with fabric and boning over layered hoop skirts. It segued to an artful street vibe with graffiti in the shape of hands on a cutout bodice. A black corset dress, cut up and draped over a broken-down denim cage skirt and jeans, provided the collection’s most current and cool moment.
The procession of poetic black held steady, cycling through undone bodices, exaggerated hoods, tiered ruffles, bloomers and gigantic draped umbrellas. Weary by the end, the lineup needed the sudden colorful, quizzical note on which it closed: a single red dress, prettily decrepit, worn by a model holding what appeared to be a GoPro. Why? Why not?