The grand Salon in Hotel de Ville was not the usual kind of space for a Yohji Yamamoto show. We are used to seeing him in more modern settings, but then the invitation did feature an aging pair of hands that could have been his own. He seemed to be in a particularly pensive mood. Self-reflection is nothing new for the designer, who often walks his own path and explores his own limits, but rarely has it been so raw and personal.
He opened the show with seven masterfully draped and folded outfits that looked as if they were made from single pieces of fabric, part-Grecian, part-kimono, all Yohji. These gave way to explorations of corsets and hoop skirts tantalizingly exposing underwear as outerwear, and flashes of primitive graffiti.
A particular standout came in raw-edged washed denim, a youthful moment paired with the sports-tech flat shoes that were worn with almost every look. All the while the music sounded like a live jam, with Yohji himself whispering, “Don’t you come into the shadow/Show me the face you’re hiding,” before stuttering, stopping and starting again. Just before sending down one of his infamous oversized parasols, the music cut and all you could hear were the frantic shutters of the cameras — a moment of self-realization.
The show closed with a crimson-red bride holding a selfie stick with a GoPro camera fixed on her own face, filming her own path down the runway. Perhaps this was Yamamoto reflecting once more, through the eyes of the very conduit he uses to convey his message.