Yohji has broken one his last taboos.
The collection was an exploration of a repertoire where he was obviously not expected.
A queer eroticism playing with suspenseful straps, layers of sheer panels and a skin exposure level that we have barely seen in his shows.
After the previous F/W14-15 collection where he showcased the solid values of the brand, he couldn’t help putting himself to a challenging task this time.
Yohji Yamamoto sees 4 aspects in the sexiness of a woman:
The beauty of the body shape expressed through the cutting technique of the silk dresses dangerously hanged to the shoulders by thin straps.
The startling emotion in the glimpse of the thinly-veiled body showing through the meticulously layered web-knits. There’s such a delicate balance in figuring out the right degree of exposure of a woman’s body.Once you cross a certain line, everything crumbles down and nothing remains…
The paradoxical sexiness that sometimes reveals itself in the carelessness of a rebellious mind, not interested in gaining one’s favor anymore.
And the ultimate sexiness that exists in the beauty of a certain way of life.
“Just like the flower, the woman is not always beautiful, it depends on the conditions”
Yohji Yamamoto is a man who needs little by way of introduction. He is a singular figure within the fashion landscape—known as much for his enigmatic charm as his unfailingly avant-garde collections. He first debuted in Paris in 1981—that would be 33 years ago—and he will return to the City of Lights later this month (September 26th) to unveil his most recent. If history repeats itself, which it has been known to do, it will be a scintillating show.
In honor of the upcoming event, we checked in with the famously private designer to hear his thoughts on the past, present, and future of his namesake collections.
What has stayed most constant throughout your work?
Obviously, people have noticed that I am fond of using black. Black is the end of color. Wearing black is like saying, ‘I will not bother you, and please do not bother me.’ And sometimes, when I am making clothes, I concentrate too much on the patterns and fabrics that I forget to use colors.
Of all your collections, is there one that you remember as being the most fun to design?
The most fun collection to design is the one I am doing now: Yohji Yamamoto FEMME 2015 Spring/Summer. I do not want to look back. If you look back, you cannot make progress. My best show will always be the next one. When a pattern-maker comes up with something beyond my imagination, I am surprised and feel excited. For the coming season, pattern-makers have kept surprising me.
How do you continue to be inspired, to push yourself and your craft over so many years?
Cigarettes. Just kidding. At first, I studied hard and copied the creations of many great designers, such as Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet. I copied over and over. One day, I just realized that people began calling me “master.” In my atelier, there are so many hard-working people. I need to be responsible because they are there, so I have pushed myself very hard over years. By reading books, experiencing different cultures, and learning from people around me, I get inspiration. Recently, I get inspiration when I am driving a car. Actually, if you continue doing one thing passionately, maybe at least five years, you will know.
How does Regulation complement your other collections?
Regulation is very special because the brand concept is about uniform and military, which is not a common element in other collections. And it is unisex since many pieces can be worn by both men and women. Although Yohji Yamamoto is famous for oversized design, the size of Regulation, especially the men’s collection, is based on my size, which is a typical Asian size—smaller than European ones.
What were you most inspired by for Fall 2014? What about Spring 2015?
You may already know that I worked with a very young artist called Yasuto Sasada for Fall 2014—on both the men’s and women’s collection. The common theme is ‘Fashion is Always Art.’ I asked Mr. Sasada to paint something sweet but dark at the same time. I like the contrast of being sweet and evil. If someone has both of these qualities, I will be very interested. The Yohji Yamamoto HOMME 2014 Fall/Winter fashion show was the very first time to present all prints on the runway. I felt excited to use those artist prints. And for the Spring/Summer 2015, I am inspired by the idea of ‘Culture Mix.’ I wanted to show interesting aspects of a cultural mix, creating a free world without government or authorities. By using exotic and ethnic prints and fabrics, as well as motifs from Asian and Middle Eastern countries, I wanted to combine different cultural lifestyles to create borderless yet elegant looks. For the 2015 Spring/Summer women’s collection, it is a secret.
Do you feel that you have accomplished what you set out to do when you started?
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? And the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?
Saying good morning and good night to my dog Rin. She is an Akita dog and only two years old. Every day, I go walking with her for about one hour, no matter if it is raining or snowing. Rin brings me good luck. Since she started to live with me, many good things happened to me. Also, she inspires me lot. You may have seen her face on Yohji Yamamoto scarves and clothes. Now she has become more famous than I am!
Let’s wait and see. You will know everything if you see Yohji Yamamoto FEMME 2015 Spring/Summer fashion show in Paris on September 26th.