The first look tonight at Yohji Yamamoto reminded us of the iconic photos of Jamie Morgan, styled by Ray Petri, that defined the UK in the 80s and became known as the Buffalo style. The track Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry, from 1988, co-written by Morgan, solidified it as a stylistic and cultural movement. A difficult to pin down aesthetic, Buffalo was loosely defined by the slouchy defiant images conjured up for The Face in London in the mid-80s. Here, there was a whiff of the revolution; berets and statement texts and a dash of fluidity, with skirting and soft lines.
The detailing was particularly key in Yamamoto’s runway today, with arts and craft influences in the fastenings and buttons. Meandering horn button-stands gave way to handcrafted blocks tied to the front of jackets, referencing traditional military frogging. The relaxed oversized volumes harked back to the 80s too, easy to wear and uncomplicated in their layering.
Yamamoto’s ongoing exploration of demi-couture techniques was evident in the hand-painting and sculptural elements that were then hand-embroidered and heavily reworked. A romantic mood permeated the collection, emphasized in the soft volumes and the relaxed spirit of potential revolution.
Yamamoto was of course still having fun, sending out a coat constructed with outward-facing seams that spelled out on the back: NAUGHTY YOHJI. Naughty Yohji indeed. And brilliant Yohji. And sensitive Yohji. And Poetic Yohji.