Yohji Yamamoto is a self-confessed dress maker - and this season he set out to discover some new silhouettes. The colour black may be synonymous with Japanese designers, but this felt like a sculptural laboratory akin with the greatest architect within fashion: Cristobal Balenciaga. Later this year, the Musee Galliera in Paris will open an exhibition entitled Balenciaga, L'oeuvre au Noir which will explore Balenciaga's black masterpieces.
Equally as stripped back and continuing to reference history, Yamamoto gave us dresses that called on fashion's past: so to gain a forward momentum. The sideways twists, ruffles and trains reminded one of the iconic black dress designed by MGM costume designer Adrian, from his Atomic 50s collection. 3D accordion pleats and asymmetric constructions that saw the spine of a dress skew across the body, called to mind the surrealist form of Elsa Schiaparelli's Skeleton dress and Vionnet's and Fortuny's legacy of pleats. Meanwhile, Charles Frederick Worth's bustle was rendered here, naturally, in the much loved Japanese colour palette. All of the above were supporting cast members within his new vision. He, unlike some other designers, can call upon these great teachers. Because he himself is one also.
Yohji Yamamoto is not only now a dressmaker, and perhaps the world's best; but he is now also poet, singer songwriter and artist. The show's soundtrack was him reciting some lines whilst strumming on a guitar. The ghost-like, washed and scribbled prints were his also. The white-ish brown prints were accompanied by some tawny feathers on a skirt. It looked like a bird had been nesting here and literally excreted on the garments. Some superstitious beliefs would indicate that good luck is on its way. Yamamoto doesn't need it. No amount of luck or hype makes up for skill and hard work. He was right to look so happy at the end of the show. His dedication to his craft had created many beautiful things.