(Images from nymag.com, Vogue. All credit to Yohji Yamamoto)
The great American cinematographer Conrad Hall once quoted “You are always a student, never a master. You have to keep moving forward“. Thus Yohji Yamamoto feels the same in a reported conversation post show for his Ready-to-Wear Fall 2017 collection. Although the dialogue was more in tune with question of the cult of personality and that attachment and weariness of expectation. With its constant need to appease a fan base that will appreciate regardless of what you create. But only a master can be observant to that proclaim after achieving greatness. This does not come easy, for the creative individual, it is only through pain and that drive for conquest that a point of success maybe reached. Then you may ponder in a moment of reflection – that you’re still learning. For most, fame and success will be unachievable. Therefore they can only live in the shadow of mastery.
Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall 2017 collection showcases Yamamoto’s brilliance as a master sewer, silhouette styling and sombre forms enwrapped in complex pleating and abstract wave tucks. By no means minimalistic, this is incredibly difficult garment structuring. The complexity in proportioning pleats that incorporate wave tuck stitching is awe-inspiring, also noted is each of the highly complex garments have been fitted so well on the models. As mentioned in regards to these complex wool ensembles, the collection is mostly over layered with black and dark/light grays with Yamamoto’s own artwork that can be seen. Which was on the most part minimalistic for his signature collection, splashes of paintwork on leggings and imprinted neatly between pleated folds on a small selection of the outfits. The stand out ‘artwork’ was the ruffled pleated mini skirt and accompanying leggings which exuded red and white paint work – insinuating Yamamoto’s desire to have more of his artwork visible on his clothing designs. What was missed by some of the other reviewers for this collection was Yamamoto’s key chain (with his signature) dangling down as a headband on some of the models. In someways an odd aspect to this collection.
There is an obvious complexity to Yohji Yamamoto’s RTW Fall 2017 showing, which is what you would expect from Yamamoto. But regardless this collection is not as compelling as it could have been, in the sense Yamamoto maybe reworking his past styles and concepts. Looking to bridge something new.