The plexiglass invitation to this season's Y-3 show looked purloined from some radar screen, its circular markings broken by position markers. Remember that Torchwood episode where a pilot flew through a temporal rip in the sky to go back to the right time period? Well, our intrepid flyer has taken a detour through our times before heading back. Yohji Yamamoto sure knows how to take an idea and fly with it.
The in-roads between Yamamoto's main collection and this could be felt the strongest in the fabrics: thick wool, textured enough to give an impression of wear, and cut into desirable overcoats. Olive canvas, cut in smart tailored outfits that had something military to them, but the happy V-day pictures. Straps hidden inside a jacket allowed it to be slung along the back like a backpack. Knits were seamlessly tailored into a blazer, alternating with panels of cotton toile. But where such mash-ups felt raw and experimental in his own line, here they were polished. Tailoring underscored the charm of uniforms moving into civilian life, with an emphasis on pulled-together dressing. Of course, there were reminders of the sports powerhouse in discreet stripes that ran under the zipper of a coat. In threes, naturally. On the back of a parka, "what is next?” asked the designer, but this didn't have the somber connotations of an uncertain future.
It was a modern retelling with a spirit of adventure that animated early airborne exploration. Models ambled along a pristine runway with (real) runway markings, their heads encased in soft fabric flight helmets. As ever, the collection captured the dichotomy between Adidas' commercially minded nature and the flights of fancy of Yamamoto's prolific mind. And it felt less like sportswear than ever, moving this firmly into the ready-to-wear arena and away from the licensed secondary line stigma. Perhaps something to do with the decision not to show again in New York in a few weeks?