Yohji Yamamoto’s "No Future" lament
One of fashion’s greatest poets, Yohji Yamamoto, presented his latest collection Friday night in Paris, and the designer was in a lyrical, yet somber mood as he reflected on our planet’s prospects.
Like so many people in fashion, Yamamoto is worried about planet Earth, and that concern sparked one of his most memorable collections in the past few years.
There was an almost audible intake of air at the very first look: a post-apocalyptic Eliza Doolittle in a remarkable draped, twisted and scrunched-up dress. A beautiful waif contemplating a stolen future – as Greta Thunberg has warned. She was one of five striking opening passages – all marching under giant cracked and undulating hats and askew frocks, all in black, all looking pretty magnificent.
Elaborate, hyper-arty but plausible dresses dominated – each kept contemporary by the great collection of high-tops, boxing boots and faux construction boots that anchored everything.
For evening, Yohji-san had a dozen spectacular gowns, finished with erratic abstract silvery embroidery, composed of bugle beads and sequins mixed with jade. Illusive and evocative. A quartet of them were cut-out linen columns – the models all marching with enormous pride, clearly loving the clothes. Appearing from under a gigantic, 15-meter-high sheath of cotton inside the Salon d’Honneur of the Grand Palais.
The soundtrack was by the designer himself: bluesy jazz, with Yohji crooning some dark lament. He took his bow to loud applause, bowing low and then spinning around to reveal the phrase "No Future" on the back of his black serge coat.
"Why no future? Because for people of 20 today there is no more future, since we are destroying the planet on which we live. We can no longer dispute that!" sighed Yamamoto backstage, in between drags of his cigarette.
Bernard Arnault may dismiss Greta as too pessimistic, Yohji does not.
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