YOHJI YAMAMOTO AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK
For all the parlance of garments being well constructed or deconstructed, you rarely hear them described as “under construction.” But if anyone can transpose the tenuous beauty of unfinished buildings into clothes, Yohji Yamamoto seems the likely choice. The designer was uncharacteristically talkative today as he explained the reasoning behind this at times highly conceptual show. He mentioned wanting to create a collection for “real girls today,” which, antithetically, meant thinking back centuries to ancient Greece and the idea that a draped piece of fabric could be simultaneously complete and incomplete. Then he set out to render the kimono less perfect, softening its rigidity while guarding the overall shape and elegant sleeves.
But Yamamoto also took a literal approach to his starting point with dresses propped over articulated frames, stretched like multi-planed canvases, and sagging like collapsed tents. The widest and weirdest of all resembled a liquid silver bedsheet, printed with a few giant green apples bearing visible bite marks. Let’s just resist the temptation to apply feminist or biblical theory. In any case, each successive robe took this lineup further away from last season’s overt sexiness, although Yamamoto insisted the collections represent two facets of the same girl.
Still images don’t communicate the performance inherent to this collection, to say nothing of the piano score, dosed out in minimalist intervals. “I didn’t want emotional music,” said Yamamoto, “because the clothing itself is very emotional.” And he was right, although it’s difficult to pinpoint which emotion and at what moments it penetrated most. The brief infusion of color—a quartet of robes in violet, emerald, blue, and brick—was particularly striking, for no other reason than its randomness. Yamamoto may have said this collection was “under construction,” but for Fall he built something very solid.