There is something gothic about a Yohji Yamamoto show. With its regular Friday night spot on the schedule, there are always hoards of 'crows' dressed in black Japanese garb - and it often tends to be raining. One season the rain even made it through the ceiling and onto the catwalk. This season, as I climbed the scaffold stairs to the show, I had to pull my hood up one last time so to avoid getting wet.
Inside, at the show, it was buttons - lots of buttons! They held together pieces of cloth and seemingly replaced a working seam. Clothes were also knotted and tied at the front. Models wore hats that were stripped away and deconstructed on one side, revealing gel-slicked long hair. There was also a peculiar piece of illustration on the side of the models' temples - it looked like they had eyes drawn alongside their existing ones.
Braces were also a fastening component, and the girls walked in flat black mules or heeled wedges. A lilac discharge print was ghostly and anonymous. Light and fluid, the print wafted in the air to the sounds of Yohji playing his guitar over the sound system. Then the huge bags arrived. Worn on the back, and asymmetrically slung, they were more like harnesses. Unfurling and undulating in a grey lilac, it shortly reappeared in bright red. The way the red one was ruched and swirling, it looked like an origami bed of roses sprawling across the wearer's back. Some black dungarees rounded out a section of white dresses - and some beautiful pieces arrived in various shades of black. Sections and panels of near opaque transparencies were also mixed in, which also created a trompe l'oeil take on things. The less dense the opaqueness, the lighter the black somehow appeared. Mesh tops were worn under little pirate-like black vests, worn with matching loose trousers and tied with some bone-like pegs fastenings. Black shorts were worn with long black trench coats, which revealed sections of flesh in the back, courtesy of two unbuttoned vertical vents. Backless tops and bustle dresses were incredibly sensual. One dress had a floor length row of hook and eye fastenings down the spine. It was left so open that the model held the dress in the air so it wouldn't fall off. There was a black label on the dress with some writing on it. Some of the other models had the label stuck to their skin - with the label placed smack bang in the middle of their back. Backstage, open closer inspection, I could see it read the words 'Sex. Yohji. Love.' There it was, the word 'sex' on a piece of Yohji Yamamoto clothing. As our love for this label continues, we may as well go there.