Yohji Yamamoto is a designer who has a deep appreciation for the blend of cultures and languages that can be found in ancient and Middle Europe. This admiration is reflected in his work, both in fashion and music. As a guitarist, composer and singer, Yamamoto personally curated a playlist that segued from jazz to gypsy and Middle Eastern sounds, and this same love of the mix is evident in his collections.
The most recent collection, for example, was inspired by the Silk Road, a trade route that connected Asia and Europe. The designer’s sartorial reinterpretation of the cultural richness, spirit and diversity of the Silk Road was a lush display of intricately developed fabrics and finishes. Pieces made of noble materials, including several types of Japanese silk, velvet, and thick brocade in resonant, shadowy hues, were layered one atop the other in a considered measure. The most technically complex development was a double-faced fabric printed not once but twice with two completely different ikat motifs, which appeared as jackets, trousers and coats that themselves symbolized the age-old cross-pollination of Asian and European cultures. A silver claw cuff evoked falconry, an iconic Arabian sport that spread throughout Europe in the Middle Ages and is still practiced in Uzbek culture.
The collection also featured a focus on the narrow jacket. At Yamamoto, it came embellished with a flurry of straps or, in the case of a couple pieces, looser, single-breasted and checked, with artisanal embroidery on the breast pockets. Elsewhere, jackets presented a restrained explosion of flouncing here and there, or seemingly freestyle flourishes in contrasting white. The designer explained that he wanted to do something unprofessional with these pieces. Japanese denim, too, was worked in unexpected and less casual ways, as a trench or a sweeping cape.
At 79, Yamamoto feels that he still has many horizons yet to explore. “Culture is a mix of everything,” he said. “There is no border with materials.” His work continues to reflect this sentiment, and each collection is a journey through different cultures and traditions, blended together in a unique and beautiful way.
You maybe interest to read:
Yohji Yamamoto – Spring/Summer 2023 – Paris Fashion Week
HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE – Fall/Winter 2023-2024 – Paris Fashion Week
Isabel Marant – Fall/Winter 2023-2024 – Paris Fashion Week
Click on this link to read this article in French version.