An Eye to The Past to Create the Future: YOHJI YAMAMOTO | Paris Fashion Week 2015-16
The cyclical nature of fashion encourages designers to be in a constant state of renewal. Designers strive for novelty and brashness to capture the imagination of buyers and the public. Standing in stark contrast to this approach is this season’s offering from Yohji Yamamoto - a fashion universe with its own narrative, that creates its own ongoing reference. Since his debut Tokyo collection in 1977, the avant garde Japanese designer has created an oeuvre that is uniquely his own one characterised by an achromatic color palette, oversized silhouettes, imaginative use of volume, and a powerful sense of deconstruction all united by his masterful tailoring skills. Recent seasons have seen Yohji playfully mix blown-up prints into his work and a slinky sensual atmosphere inform his womenswear design, subverting expectations. For men’s autumn/winter 2015-2016 the collection was the distilled Yohji Yamamoto male: a collection where the main thematic reference was a reconfiguration of his own work, a vital remake of his legacy.
The act of casting his eye back through his collections was apparent with the models’ bruised and disheveled appearance as if they emerged bloodied from some street battle, a visual device previously used in his spring/summer 2013 collection. The implication of violent action was reflected in the fierce deconstruction throughout the collection, with visible raw and unfinished seams, stacked multiple layers and hems. Black was the staple of the day, the unifying factor to the array of deconstructed jackets and characteristically wide legged trousers. Injections of blue, green and pale grey-browns served to add to the dissected, paneled feelings of the pieces. The master’s hand spliced everything together with an overt roughness that concealed its precise nature, the end result rendered a refined sense of unity. Yohji Yamamoto again demonstrated his ability to summon his own fashion zeitgeist - to create clothes that eschew petty novelty, garments whose form, whilst familiar to us from his past collections seemed as new and progressive as anything on Paris catwalks.