Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji loyalists, we sat anxiously—knees wrapped in black blankets—on the edge of our wooden gymnasium seats, wondering if he would return to form, or if the financial pressure of the last year would force him into uncharted commercial territory. To a sigh of relief, the show started off classic Yohji. The perfect ink-blue shirt, complete with straight wide tie, hung under a low and loose skirt suspended by shoulder straps—like a grown-up school uniform. Flat men’s shoes with socks grounded the lightness. One double-breasted coat with oversized buttons was sliced sideways to become a cropped jacket and trench skirt. Then, a shift. As if to go after a young new audience, his lengths got shorter and silhouettes narrower. What could have been a great A-line looked to be short of fabric, while a trench bustier dress that had been the highlight of a former show now looked like a poor imitation. There were a few more classic Yohji pieces, like off-white dresses with inset black sleeves, but true Yohji is poetry of form. These younger looks didn’t quite graduate.

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