Yohji Yamamoto

There’s a quiet solemnity to Japanese fashion that verges on the religious. It’s the kind of faith that lets someone look at half a jacket and some frizzy, powdered hair and see divine revelation. At Yohji Yamamoto, the godfather of Japanese conceptualism, the audience paid their respects by donning their most complex black assemblages. Never mind the casualties on the way in: someone lost a sleeve, I trampled an elephantine pant leg, a security guard got dragged by the loose end of a blouse. 

We regrouped, we waited, we chatted. Topic number one: a boycott of the Margiela show to protest the Belgian master’s alleged absence from the Maison. “What’s the point of going if he isn’t there anymore?” asked one particularly disturbed buyer. I was about to answer when I got distracted by a group of Spanish editors doing Rachel Zoe impressions. “It was a-mazing!” they said, giggling uncontrollably. “I die for it!” (sounding like “deeee” in Catalan-inflected English). 

Then finally, the collection, best described as Yohji letting loose. The first section was a continuation of the Japanese conceptual uniform: white shirt, black pants, black flats. He spun these into an array of Alice-like proportions. Some were bigger, some were smaller, some wider, some shorter, some with cut-outs. The second section shifted into bad-girl biker mode, and included studded biker gloves and amazing biker jackets. This was accompanied by a music change to full-on hair metal that managed to sound cerebral in this context. Finally, out came a finale of corseted dresses and soft flounces in pretty Liberty prints to the soundtrack of Que Sera Sera. The overall effect: a cross between Dangerous Liaisons and Sons of Anarchy.

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