Sunday, January 22, 2017

BEAUTY: Clothing--Yohji Yamamoto

The highly regarded and highly decorated designer Yohji Yamamoto has had a long and storied career, and at age 73, shows no signs of stopping. His Fall-Winter '17-'18 collection at Paris Fashion Week was lyrical and beautiful, awash with an insouciant, rippling sense of Romanticism worthy of any French Symbolist poet. But the original inspiration for the collection is surprising. The invitation to the show was an employee timecard in an envelope marked "WORKING 24 HOURS EVERYDAY," and the spring board for the show was the type of person who works hard at manual labor jobs. Yamamoto said "I admire those people who work seriously using their own body. We’re now at a time in the world where the most important business is money-makes-money. And I hate it." Yamamoto took worker staples like the coverall, the jumpsuit, and the overcoat (a few in white, perhaps referencing meat packers?) but rendered them in gorgeous jacquards and patterns, all in Yamamoto's signature, impeccable, asymmetrical, master tailoring. It is really a lovely, flowing collection (with inventive touches like elongated pointed collars, and some fantastic New Romantic boots) which ultimately has nothing to do with its inspirational source. I can't fault the end result. But there is something interesting about the intersection of his imagined laborers and the material and price point of the clothing.

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