Paris fashion week was awash with the type of loose cuts Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons) made famous in the 1980s. Consequently, the fashion world looked to the originator of the style.
Yohji Yamamoto’s Pour Homme 2019 Spring/Summer collection Paris show began with some classic asymmetrical pieces. Black gabardine jackets with multiple flapped pockets running in elegant curved lines. Dual lapels, lop-sided cuts, and layers of black on black. This is the master in his element – Yohji at his quintessential best. Certainly though, this was him operating in his comfort zone.
Pretty quickly it becomes obvious that someone’s gone to work on many of these garments with a fairly hefty set of sheers. At least one shirt is cut to reveal the wearer’s nipple. Large sections of jackets and coats are missing. Some are patched, most noteworthy was one jacket with off-white branded pattern beneath showing Yohji plus rabbit ears! On other pieces the space is empty. Above all these cut-outs boldly reject functionality, in favour of artistic expression.
Finally, in contrast to the shows opening darkness, splashes of colour begin to appear. Vivid pinks, reds, purples and tan leather. In fact, mid collection is all about the leather touches. Case in point, this gabardine jacket spliced with leather insert sleeves and ‘Yohji is Fresh’ motifs.
From here on out the collection is dominated by graphical prints. All of this colour is set on a familiar black canvas. After showing how to cut the superfluous with artisan precision, Yohji goes on to give a master class in addition. We’re hit with rampant bursts of colour, tattoo-like Japanese characters, animal fur prints, flowers, female portraits (similar to the 2018 line), all adorning an array of flowing fabrics.
Yohji Yamamoto takes us on a journey this collection. Starting in his trademark darkness, voyaging into a loving exploration of graphical design and masterful tailoring. The message is clear: ‘Yohji is [still] fresh!’