Long Nguyen is the co-founder and style director of Flaunt.
PARIS–There’s something about the integrity of Mr. Yohji Yamamoto’s work that resists succumbing to seasonal trends. You have to respect designer who follows his own vision despite the warp speed pace of fashion changing around him. It’s more often the case that the fashion world eventually catches up with him–you can see his men’s pantsuits in many of the women’s collections shown here in the last two seasons.
In a small showroom on the Rue Saint Martin, Mr. Yamamoto, as usual, used a range of real people and fashion models–young and old, large and slim sizes –a reflection of the real people who purchase his clothes.
When the show ended, guests exiting one way and models another–some of the dressed-to-the-nines editors (blood red elbow gloves on one and a rabbit hat and blue Mongolian fur on another) seemed more done up then the models. And maybe that has always been the point for the designer who pushes boundaries only with how he cuts the clothes, often using the same fabrics season after season: The black gabardine that often came in a deep navy or that crisp and heavy poplin cotton for shirts. This time, felt wool and boiled wool took center stage comprising a range of overcoats from a black blanket coat to a longer jacket with large circular lapels to a series of brown boiled wool patch pocket coats with pink piping. Colorful decorations on the various incarnations of the navy military coat–as a jacket, peacoat, or long coat–added appeal to this staple in every man’s wardrobe. And still, some of the shapeless blanket coats reminded me of Mr. Yamamoto’s arrival into the Paris scene in the early 80’s with his formless, asymmetrical, and androgynous black clothes that sparked a style revolution then and silently again now.
When the designer appeared among the models standing in a tableau finale, I was reminded of the image of him from the short documentary film about his life and work, This Is My Dream. Mr. Yamamoto was always smiling because he enjoys making clothes–fashion is his life.