Against a backdrop that included the Eiffel Tower, twinkling to mark the hour and a soundtrack that included part Irish, part hypnotic beats, Yohji Yamamoto sent out a masterful collection that suggested an all at once period garb, futuristic cocooning and a declension on the arts trend that has been kicked about in past seasons. That thought could have been influenced of those floppy artist caps, or the paint splattered hairpieces.
Of course, Yamamoto being who he is, this didn’t come off as a late-coming addition to an ongoing discussion but rather as the intervention of an expert who only chimes in when he feels like it. On the vast expanses of fabric on hand, he put some of the prints that had lit up this season’s menswear, and even more elaborate tableaux that read like so much graffiti depicting the stream of consciousness that agitates his considerable imagination. Potentially cumbersome volumes – full skirts, coats with sweepingly oversized lapels, layered combinations of such elements – were kept in control by their duvet-filled components and some modicum of on-the-fly alterations such as full-length zips down the back. In a nutshell, it was the same mileage of fabric as his usual flowing and deconstructed silhouettes but padded out to be on display.
The best looks were sprinkled among the 40-odd looks: a handful of macro-sized Aran sweater dresses in natural and black; a droid-lookalike; über-Puft sportswear influences. One skirt looked like a flurry of bright blue Post-It notes. In between, it was back to black in a Mary Queen of What on Earth is That, and more of his esoteric sketchbook. There was even one who looked like she was handling her bun in the oven with mitts – all that sex he’d been thinking about in past seasons perhaps? Throwing such curve balls to his audience is a prerogative he likes to exercise on a regular basis. But here, it was a genius casserole of conceptual, bad taste and secret Yamamoto sauce. As a result, this was all at once intrinsically him and all the more challenging to those who long to look back – rather than forward – at his oeuvre. To them, this collection replied no one puts Yohji in a corner.
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