Yohji Yamamoto: Visions in black
Fashion models rarely look more proud than in Yohji Yamamoto shows, especially when the Japanese designer produces one of his vintage performances, which is what his latest collection was.
Staged in the Hôtel de Ville of Paris, hundreds of fans braved the Friday night rain in a vain search for entry into this show. Those fortunate enough to have an invite were rewarded by a particularly beguiling and beautiful show.
Yamamoto’s sheer purist technique as a draper places him among the very greatest of designers. Using mixes of rayon and cotton in a whole range of weights, he swaddled his cast intricately, but with a lightness of touch rarely seen from Yamamoto.
Famed as a designer capable of creating artistic fashion that somehow looks protective, this season he lightened up his approach. Most every neckline was low, shoulders were exposed, and lengths were shortened.
"I even showed a mini. My first time ever. It’s my response to global warming. It’s getting so hot on our planet you have to wear less clothes," said Yamamoto in a post-show chat with FashionNetwork.com.
Created entirely in black, with just a few daubs of silver on a trio of elaborately layered sheathes. A trio of deconstructed crinolines, where you could see the aluminum and tartan-patterned construction, brought a ripple of admiration from an audience also largely in black.
Asked why he created almost solely in black, Yamamoto responded with a broad smile: "That’s the reason I am a designer. Besides, I don’t need the help of color!"
The melodic soundtrack of bluesy rock added a sense of longing and loss, including the 77-year-old Yamamoto himself playing lead guitar and singing Bob Dylan’s "Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door."
His entire cast – none of them huge names, but all looking beautiful – were done up with silver eyeliner and the most brilliant pearl gray hairpieces and pirate braids, in the most fantastical hair and makeup of any runway show this season. All of them walked with enormous sense of self, one so self-assured that she walked almost into the photographers’ pit, practically daring them to back away.
The proudest possible cast, as well they should be. Not every gal gets to star in a vintage Yohji show.
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