Tavi Gevinson said half-jokingly yesterday that she was sad Yohji Yamamoto wouldn't be making an appearance at the show for Y-3, his Adidas line, because she had hoped to ask him the meaning of life.
Frankly, who better to ask that of than the 66-year-old legend of fashion's avant-garde? Seems like he just might know.
Yamamoto had left notes on all the seats saying, "I am in Tokyo. See you in Paris!" Paris is of course where Yamamoto shows his main collection — the bankrupt one — and it is that enterprise which presumably required his full attention just now.
There was, weirdly, no designer to take a bow when the last model had walked backstage and the applause had broken out.
That left Yamamoto's clothing to speak for him.
The atmosphere was pretty heavily influenced by rock — the Duke Spirit played live, on a platform built up into the immense black-mirrored scrim at the back of the runway. The audience were seated on bleachers, and the Park Avenue Armory building's cavernous space gave the proceedings an arena-like scale. The models walked in the glow of dozens of spotlights like tractor beams.
The references were pretty clear, if a little random — a circus in the '90s? There were ringleader jackets and midriff-baring tops galore.
And the occasional Ren-Faire-lite corset top with a pointed hem.
The rock references continued in the collection in the form of a reliance on the color black and on silver chains, studs, and spikes.
There were even men's jackets that had diamante Gothic script messages on their backs. One had a line drawing of the neck of a guitar, picked out in crystals.
Frankly, it all felt a little too Yohji-goes-to-Hot-Topic at times.
And frankly some of the trendier pieces — harem pants, the aforementioned studded everything — felt a little behind the times. Haven't the magazines been trying to make harem pants happen for two years now?
That might have been Adidas' influence. Yamamoto's aesthetic was more readily evident in his signature oversized pants and (lightly) deconstructed tailored pieces, like a tuxedo jacket with ragged-edge ruffles sewn down the back of its sleeves.