Shock Rave: Yohji Yamamoto Spring 2014

A Yohji Yamamoto show is never short on surprises. This season the king of black showed lashings of fluoro.

The bright red invitation had his name crossed out in black spray paint, which should have made it clear that a punk attitude was on his mind. The music throughout was hazy guitar riffs that meandered slowly, mimicked in the models’ slow, deliberate walks.

The opening outfits were resolutely black and white, and exposed flesh in unexpected cuts at the shoulders, enforcing the newer sexier Yohji spirit that has prevailed for the last few seasons. But the real shock came when the fluoro outfits started to arrive. Yohji had gotten his rave on!

And yet a Yohji rave is no regular rave. The models were a kind of hybrid Harajuku Girl and Harajuku Woman. The hair was powdered 18th-century in the front, but pulled into tiny pigtails with flashes of neon in the back, perfectly expressing the sartorial dichotomy for spring.

It was great to see such an influential designer in a playful mood, and the delicate handling of intense, unexpected colors made us question our own associations with them — no small feat. Bravo, Yohji, for keeping the party going.

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