Before Yohji Yamamoto’s show, we were greeted by familiar faces at the rue Saint Martin venue. They beamed, promising us something different. They sure delivered: the king of black showed almost an entire collection of colorful prints.
Th show ran the full gamut, with brocades, florals, camouflages, hand-painting, and cult-like esoteric symbols all colliding on otherwise familiar forms. And bringing those forms to colorful, dynamic new life was a jolting process. Zips were placed in unexpected places: on the backs of arms, under the arms, along darts on jackets, across the fronts of sweaters, and left open, exposing clashing colors and prints in the under layers. It was these layers that emphasized the mastery at play.
The music mirrored the collection, spluttering, stopping, and seeming to fall apart several times, though a cursory glance at the technical booth showed no signs of accident. Everything was going according to plan, the plan being orchestrated chaos. A bang ended the show, followed by total darkness, and then Yamamoto appeared all in black, smiling and waving in the light. No encore, no parade, a break with tradition — a perfect final statement.