Yohji Yamamoto could be called fashion’s cipher. The godfather of Japanese conceptualism who has also collaborated with Adidas on the avant-sportswear line Y-3 for the past decade—and who didn’t appear for a bow at the end of his show yesterday—is not someone you corner for a sound bite. So we’ll refer to the show notes sent via PR blast later in the evening which mention his admiration for the “poetry and elegance to the way nomads dress,” and desire “to capture that feeling and make it modern.”
That emphasis on itinerant lifestyles would explain the very Silk Road-esque carpets piled across the runway when we arrived at the usual Y-3 underground showspace at 82 Mercer Street. It would also explain the multi-culti mix of references in the 58-look run of show for women and men; we spotted a oversized sherpa, a mini sombrero, and a black hat reminiscent of those worn by Andean matrons—and that’s just amongst the headgear.
Colors were bold and bright, ranging from claret to jade, with leopard print thrown in for good measure. And as we contemplated trekking back out into the blistering February winds we couldn’t help wishing we too were swaddled in the shearling jackets, nubby fleece knits, and matelassé-quilted skirts.
But what of Yamamoto’s purported impetus to make indigenous dressing feel modern? His activewear hybrids displayed typically tricksy experimentation with shape, like Velcro coat pockets that can be shifted around (the better to keep iPhone-tapping tired fingers warm). Also new was the particularly Young Hollywood star-studded front row, which induced a flashbulb mob around Isabel Lucas and Anton Yelchin (who had just flown in), leaving staffers scrambling to clear the runway and tape down Oriental rugs. “This is getting a little too crazy for me,” one security guard confided, to no one in particular. You couldn’t help thinking somewhere Yamamoto was smiling a little.