In a season where the Japanese designers of Paris have been referenced to no end, the show train finally made it to Yohji Yamamoto. A hero to so many young designers, the work of the Japanese fashion legend is more relevant than ever as new talent aspire to create an avant-garde aesthetic similar to Master Yohji’s. Keeping this in mind, there was a certain sense of irony in the fact that Yamamoto chose to base his own Spring/Summer 2014 collection on youth. Girlie puff sleeve tailoring (or at least as girlie or puff sleeved as girlie puff sleeve tailoring gets in the world of Yohji Yamamoto) opened a show, which suddenly burst into a frivolous array of fluoro looks, which maxed it out in the token Japanese department of the floaty asymmetrical stuff of which the season has been made. From that point on, the Yamamoto show was a youth quake of overwhelming proportions: pigtails, displays of flesh, ruffles, embellishment, little summer dresses, and a certain sexy vibe of a somewhat odd, indefinable character.
But the rolled up grey parts of the models’ hair, mixed with the mature air that surrounds a lot of Yamamoto’s signature elements, hinted at a kind of recognition of age gaps, or perhaps generational differences. While his status as an international designer icon is unquestionable, Yamamoto doesn’t cater to the kids these days the way he did it in the eighties, something the dreary soft rock soundtrack he played at the show proved. But luckily, Harajuku girl hip isn’t what people want from Yamamoto. They simply want what Yamamoto does best, and while many others are trying their luck on that battlefield, there will only ever be one last samurai.