Yohji Yamamoto Men’s

Yohji Yamamoto’s invitation simply stated “Same spot as usual!” — a reference to the venue, his building on Rue Saint Martin that houses the Paris office. But perhaps he was also, in typical style, riffing on his own legacy.

His collections always seem to unfold on the runway, and we often find ourselves having to decipher his intentions backward, after viewing the collection in its totality. This season, the opening looks were classic Yamamoto, black on black with masterful layering and couture-like attention to fabrication and details, with flashes of brights. Slits were in odd places, revealing unexpected parts of the male body: side leg, lower back, upper chest, and along seams, suggesting a kind of disintegration.

Midway through the collection, a series of suits came out that made us think. They were, again, black, but they had different applications that gave them a wet effect, and the models carried canes and umbrellas. They intensified in wetness before giving way to looks in full-length glossed shirting that looked like they had been drenched. His man was exposed to the elements, and the white blasted effect on the hair was like the harsh reflection of the sun on snow. It seems Yamamoto was in a pensive mood, and there was a vulnerability to the collection, perfectly illustrated by these allusions to weather.

The last six models wore all-white, the color sun-bleached out of them, and had words scrawled on their faces: UGLY, ANGEL, HELP, BAD, ME. These coded references certainly helped to reinforce both the urgency and the uncertainty of the collection.

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