Yohji Yamamoto's work in fashion spans more than three decades now. And although he has created a very recognisable language of form over the years — sometimes even referred to as Yamamotifs — he has one thing in common with all the great old designers: every season will show a new and inspiring approach towards those known and mostly beloved motifs.
For Fall 2016 it is an intellectual, multilayered approach towards minimalism, deeply woven into the fabric of the Yamamoto self-conception. Yamamoto lives and works between Tokyo and Paris. Cultural influences of both buzzing metropolises can be found in many of the immaculately crafted designs. The focus on displaying special qualities of purposefully chosen fabrics — deeply rooted in the handling of Kimonos — meet elements of gender-defining western cutlines, not only in one outfit, but sometimes even in one garment. And although Yohji Yamamoto has always been known for his fondness of black, this collection in particular very much plays with the aspect of shadow and light bound to the qualities of the non-colour. Clear forms of layering, as well as varying fabric structures — sometimes even freehandedly lacquered — underline this effect.
I love the way in which Yamamoto's well deserved self-assuredness brings out the origin of his designs in 1980s avant-garde fashion without relying purely on retrospectives. It feels like the designer understood what drives the people who enjoy his work: complex cultural arguments displayed in a condensed, bare form that is instinctively and easily understood.
Photography courtesy of Vogue.