Yohji Yamamoto’s aesthetic hasn’t changed over the years. The dark colours, the slipped silhouettes and the underground soul are still the same as that anti-fashion movement that characterized the 90s and his first appearance, together with Rei Kawakubo, on the western fashion scene. We are the ones who have changed, the “outside” society, and now, after the last events, we begins to understand better what the designer does.
The collection, therefore, presented via video as usual in these days, is particularly suitable for the uncertain times ahead of us. There is a kind of tension, throughout the fourteen minutes of presentation, that makes you want to see more, know more, go beyond the darkness that envelops the entire scene and that intensify every time a model leaves in order for the next one to emerge. The atmosphere is tense also because of the music, which is always particularly felt, in Yamamoto’s shows, because he is the composer.
The whole experience is summed up in the garments. The shapes are linear and sliding, any rigid structure is absent. The materials are mostly shiny, in black, gray, white and red. There are some prints and the pattern for the eye is recurrent: the eyeball becomes even a button. There is a military inspiration as well, in the double-breasted coats for example. And then there are garments embroidered with words, in white thread, in English and Japanese. Yamamoto himself, who greets at the end of the video/fashion show, wears a jacket with the word Fragile embroidered on it.
The latent sense of restlessness of the whole collection is nothing more than an invitation to reckon with it: recognizing our weaknesses, facing them and eventually living with them, is a skill we have to master today more than ever.
Cover image courtesy: Yohji Yamamoto via vogue.com