by Yohji Yamamoto
However much of a statement the Yohji straw hat makes, its grateful bearer knows that it is one of exquisite, implicit taste.
Few of us - if we are completely honest - really wish to stand out from those around us. Should the focus of attention shift towards us then, yes, we would like to be found neat and clean; chic even. But garments that create a sensation all of their own, upstaging the wearer -or to paraphrase Coco Chanel, clothes that wear you- are nothing short of an undesirable encumbrance. How many vast, wide-brimmed hats, for instance, do you see worn outside provincial weddings?
And yet I find myself hopelessly drawn to just this. The magnificent constructions atop the heads of Yohji Yamamoto's models, positively wafted down his Spring/Summer 2004 catwalk, imbuing their wearers with the utmost grace and beauty. Qualities, surely, that most of us could live with? A modern re-working of the Japanese worker staple, the coolie hat, this sculptural object of beauty consists of nothing more than an oversized PVC disc draped over a moderately proportioned straw hat.
But Yohji's grasp of Modernist form, his sensitivity to colour - witness how the virtually colourless plastic of the enigmatic veil projects a gorgeous blush tone onto its wearer's complexion - and his audacious use of different scales demonstrates exactly what inspires such fierce loyalty from the veteran designer's consumers. In essence, it's a question of trust. However much of a statement the Yohji straw hat makes, its grateful bearer knows that it is one of exquisite, implicit taste.
Straw and plastic hat by Yohji Yamamoto at Yohji Yamamoto +4420 7491 4129