Thursday, December 8, 2011

Yohji Yamamoto : on a man in black

A few months ago I was lucky enough to wander into London's Victoria and Albert museum on what happened to be the last day of the 
Yohji Yamamoto retrospective.
“With my eyes turned to the past, I walk backwards into the future” 
It was a gorgeous array, with Yamamoto's designes scattered around the museum in unsuspecting corners, culminating in a vast white gallery chamber. 
The garments ranged from over the 30 years of his career - 
from his debut Paris collection in 1981, and included video installations, beautiful books (including My Dear Bomb) and catalogues to be pawed over. In the central gallery alone over 60 of Yamamoto's greatest designs could be viewed, not behind glass, but with intimacy, the way it was intended.
With the many seasons of fashion that Yamamoto has weathered, in the collection there were punk stylings, elegant gowns, maritime, renaissance, clergy and amish influences, men, women, androgyny, bursts of colour, waves of black...
but all with the overarching focus on Textiles
"Fabric is everything" says the Japanese icon, and there's no doubt that he has truly exploited his medium over the past three decades.

"I'm searching for a new proportion. What interests me is the 'space' between the person wearing the clothes and the clothes themselves - the airiness, the movement, the silhouette"

Born: Tokyo, 1943
Studied at:   Tokyo's Keio University (law degree)
                      Bunkafukuso Gakuin School of Fahion (1966-1969)
First label: Y's (1972)
First collection: Presented in Tokyo (1977)
Launched the Yohji Yamamoto label (1981) in Paris (In 1981 With Rei Kawabuko debuting Comme des Garçons the two were met with general disgust in Paris)
Yohji Yamamoto pour homme (1984)
Photography: Paolo Roversi, Max Vadukul, Nick Knight, Inez Van Lamsweerde, Vinoodh Matadin 
Film: Takeshi Kitano, Wim Wenders, Heiner Müller
Choreography: Pina Bausch
and more, that list doesn't even include adidas or his music

There's just one last thing
the short film This Is My Dream is just lovely


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