Pump Up the Volume: Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2014

I joked with a friend before the Yohji show about the ticket looking like a little cut-out doll, and we guessed that he might be hinting at something like the famous cut-outs of Comme des Garçons’ fall 2012. Of course, it was nothing like that — the little dolls we held in our hands were more silhouettes of the voluminous form that was to come, and a hint at an underlying folk theme.

Yohji definitely had volume on his mind, and it was so deftly handled it seemed to defy gravity. The huge forms swept around the models like duvets full of air, bouncing and floating their way down the runway to the Celtic strains of Clannad’s Siuil a Run and what sounded like a piano-led instrumental version of Danny Boy. He collaborated again with Yasuto Sasada, who gave us the eye-popping prints for the fall 2014 men’s collection. Here the artist explored the synthesis, as he says, of “ being ancient yet modern” — this idea of living in the computer age but yearning for the folkloric rituals of the past. He really let loose, with Japanese ogres and donuts, eyeballs and pills, pieces of machinery and body parts, and all manner of swirling psychedelia.

The puffed-up forms felt functional, yet hugely exaggerated, and were technically brilliant. Yohji redefined the ubiquitous down jacket, making it both more chic and more street than ever before. There was no sexiness here, only pure unbridled experimentation of form and content. 

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