Friday, January 17, 2014

BEAUTY: Clothijng--Yohji Yamamoto, that's a lot of prints. When Yohji Yamamoto was asked to explain his Fall-Winter collection shown at Paris Fashion Week, he coyly said, "People kept telling me I do too much black." Well, alrighty then.

This is certainly an avalanche of prints and in the hands of a less seasoned or talented designer, it would have been a disaster. But Yamamoto manages to make it look like a spirited grab bag, a cavalier "oh-what-the-hell" moment. All the Yamamoto shapes are still here--the extremely wide cut trousers that skim the calf which read like Samurai pants, boxy jackets, fluttering overcoats, and skirts/ dresses (since practically every designer has shown a kilt, a skirt, or a dress for men, there is very little shock value left... incredulous, panicked voices used to ask "Will men ever wear skirts?"... yeah, they will and they do... so now what?). The addition of the print riot makes it seem unrestrained, a little crazy and wild. "Who would put all those prints together?" Yamamoto, that's who. But here's a little secret I practice in my interior design career: you can absolutely combine patterns and prints as long as you follow two little rules. 1) Vary the scale and shape of patters and prints so that you are combining organics (florals) with geometrics (stripes, diamonds). Vary tight patterns with larger prints. And 2), unify disparate prints and patterns with the same color palette. And he has done all that here.

Thematically, the idea of death seems to hover around the periphery of this collection with skull patterns, and rope details and closures that take the form of a noose! This collides with the kaleidoscopic nature of the collection and makes me think of cultures that treat death like a party, and celebrate the life of the deceased, not mourn their absence. Or perhaps it is more simple: live it up now, because none of us get out of here alive.

And once again, kudos to Yamamoto for casting mature and unconventional models. Silver hair is a welcome sight on the runway.

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