Pushing Boundaries at Yohji Yamamoto

The invitation was giving nothing away, in true Yohji style. It was an orange cardboard envelope with an illustration of samurai fighting dragons and a single sheet of black paper in between. Black on the inside? Orange is the new black? Or, simply the king of black saying again, “I don’t bother you — don’t bother me.”

Continuing the theme from last season, his models wore full-length sheath dresses and trousers that fell in heavy wide pleats, becoming full-on skirts, and jackets that were so soft on the lapel that they fell around the body sensually. Yamamoto himself stated that in 1977 he wanted women to wear men’s clothes, and now it seems he is pushing the envelope more so and asking his men to wear forms that would more traditionally be reserved for womenswear. A particularly successful motif was the trick of the ultra-fluid jackets worn off the shoulder with waists belted in tightly, so that the alternate sleeve fell perfectly down the center back of the shirt underneath. It was simple yet devastatingly effective. 

The prints were a mash-up of Japanese text and portraits of the man himself, one of which was his face with a single tear. The gender fluidity reached a peak in the section of sheer appliqué long-sleeve tops with loose flowing robes layered underneath.

The final section was punctuated by a sudden blast of John Lennon’s classic song Imagine. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.” A perfect summation of the collection — timeless, genderless, aspirational.