The anger and conflict central to Yohji Yamamoto as a designer were manifest quite literally in his S/S 2013 show held as part of Paris Fashion Week, his consistently varied models emerged on to the catwalk without ceremony or the glitz that others may dress their shows up in, sporting cuts, black eyes and clothes that looked like they had been stretched or knocked out of shape in a scuffle. These references continued through the kung fu baggy trousers that have replaced the Japanese martial art inspired short hakama trousers of last spring / summer, and unfinished collars that drooped in a way reminiscent of torn clothing – but were of course structurally sound. Perhaps the biggest surprise on the catwalk was the absence of the slightly older (and dare I say it – portly) models who have always shown just how good almost anyone looks when they entrust their wardrobe to Yohji Yamamoto, and instead we found a much younger group of guys, who none-the-less still looked every inch the part.
If the world of Yohji Yamamoto is about finding a new way of looking at beauty and convention, then in this work Yohji is exploring the romance of passion, of pugilism and of the care free calm that comes after – his men look like they have just emerged from a fracas, pulling on their jacket in haste as they go. This swagger is further enhanced with the voluminous kung fu trousers that look great in motion, and also the hanging toggles and wallet chains that are largely unnecessary, but contribute well to the street gang feel and add another element of movement to the ensemble.
Enjoy the show:
Much has been said of the outfit that Yohji Yamamoto took his own bow in – a jacket with “For Sale” sticked into the back, obviously it is open to interpretation, but I can’t help but think that in a fashion world where major fashion houses are seeing the supposed designer behind the brand shifting with the seasons, that Yohji is simply pointing out that it is he the designer who you are buying into. This collection is of the man himself, after all, you cannot remove him from the brand anymore than you can remove a side from a triangle and still call it one. When you are buying these clothes you are buying into his world and if you think anything like me, then you will agree that is the way fashion ought to be.