Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas’ Y-3 project marked its 10 year anniversary at New York Fashion Week with a collection that demonstrated just how far Yohji has managed to push his own elegant interpretation on Adidas’ conventional sportswear. Before we get on the collection it strikes me that any discussion of Y-3 must begin with something of a disclaimer for the hardened fans who think that any admiration for this collaboration brand is an admission of ignorance, to the effect that I am fully aware that this is not the pure Yamamoto spirit we should all know and love, but on the other hand if this is an olive branch to those who don’t want to be tempted too far from the norm then I am all for it. Similarly Y-3 always comes under a certain amount of fire for its overuse on the Adidas logo that in this collection find itself distorted onto military armbands and braces, and slung into geometric prints, but there is something about it in this collection that strikes me of it hiding in plain site, so large and so incorporated that it doesn’t have the jarring effect it used to – but your mileage may vary.
As ever sportswear finds itself endlessly reinterpreted, here the sweat band seems elegant and an extension of the deconstructed suit jacket, the larger black band at the top alluding to a sense of the arm fading away.
Certain outfits could claim to strong similarities with that which we saw on the catwalk in Paris, but overall despite the evident lightness of the fabrics it felt a little less flowing than the louche decadence of the mainline.
No Y-3 collection is complete without that printed t-shirt and a classically cut suit, although the pockets on the jacket do look quite interesting.
As ever a splash of colour made its presence felt towards the end of the show.
Yohji Yamamoto himself turned up for this showing (he doesn’t always), marking his commitment to this ongoing project. Personally I always find that Y-3 has a tendency to throw out some fantastically divisive designs each season, so on that basis alone I am certainly looking forward to the future of this brand.