Working It: Yohji Yamamoto Men’s Fall 2017

With an acoustic guitar soundtrack that we take to be Yohji Yamamoto himself, the boys walked in mostly suited looks. But, as ever, the devil was in the details. Shirt collars were explored in ways that we have never seen before, at times dripping like paint running down a wall, and at times geometrically cut in unexpected shapes, but somehow retaining their place as collars. Jackets had similarly transformative elements, with panels unzipped at the back, and sleeves sewn on top of the sleeve head, rather than into. Tricks that only a quiet master can pull off.

With his graphic texts he was less conservative, insisting “Japan this is for You” written over an appliqued silhouette of himself on a tailored jacket, and “Save the Manufacture Works” — a declaration of war on the all-too-familiar fast-fashion element that litters our high streets.

But the true ingenuity was in the ability to create suiting that challenged our very conception of the notion of the suit. Plackets appeared where they shouldn’t have been; trouser details were found throughout, vents were cut so high that they became simply cuts, shirts were triple-layered in corporate pinstripes, and capes were brutal woolen squares held tight to the body.

To list all of the precise elements that made this exciting yet deliberately underwhelming, would be to undermine Yamamoto’s core sensibility. One needs time to absorb and analyze all the things that were happening quietly on the runway today, and that was exactly the point — it’s time to slow down.

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