Yohji, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Looser Fit (Yohji Yamamoto Thread) - Page 345
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I was checking out the Yohji Yamamoto shop in the excellent Hankyu department store in Tokyo yesterday - after I had gazed longingly at the awesome stuff in the 08sircus pop-up shop that I can't afford - and I was struck by how much colour there is in his clothing - that you just don't see on this thread. All of you guys, wonderfully as you do dress, seem to favour only the black, and particularly the gabardine, Yohji stuff. Yet there is a lot more to Yohji. Is there no love for the pink / purple fake fur robes and multicoloured scarves etc? Does this side of Yohji just not figure in what westerners expect or want from the label?
There might be love... but the reason i love this thread is the fact people post themselves wearing Yohji. It doesn't surprise me that pink or purple fake fur robes don't frequent the pages often - i don't think it has anything to do with 'western' expectations. From this thread Yohji comes across as very simple and wearable to me (part of the attraction)..., not sure i could say the same for the pink fake fur robes. Just my take though!
I do have quite a few gabardine pants, but I also have quite a bit of linen, ramie, ramie blends, nylon etc. fabrics and in fact I am truly more interested in picking up these fabrics with future purchases.
As for the expectations of Westerners, I think it is the same regardless of location. The idea of Yohji making black clothing is something that is really intertwined with the brand (especially when the man himself is always dressed in black and has spoken at length about it) and will probably be very difficult to shake off. Quite a few Western retailers also stock a lot of the coloured pieces - Barneys, Justoneeye, La Garconne etc. to name a few so I guess it is slowly changing.
Zapatiste is one of the few flying the flag for Yohji in technicolour.
This is an interesting question indeed. I've tried to integrate a few colourful pieces into my growing Yohji wardrobe. My brightest so far is a new acquisition: a very intense red silk/cotton shirt with a kind of ruffle of different fabrics down the placket. The construction and fabric are amazing, but it is pretty flamboyant, and I'll have to wait and see how I feel wearing it. However, in general, I do find myself drawn to the black gabardine, for a number of reasons. The first —and this will probably put me in danger of assassination by Yohji ninjas:)—is that while I can smile at some of the more outlandish, or humorous things Yohji does, I wouldn't want to wear them. In some cases it's no doubt a cultural difference, or one to do with background, education etc., but I find some of Yohji's brighter pieces, and some of the cultural references they occasionally include (e.g. manga characters), not particularly interesting.
Yohji has a distinctive sense of humour (at least in his work), which may in part be something to do with Japanese popular culture. It has a puckish quality to it, but occasionally it strays a bit too far in the direction of what seems like knowing kitsch, at least for my taste. On the other hand, as an academic, I appreciate, in the way you appreciate a bad pun, that he mis-spells PhD on some of the SS2009 blazers :) .
In general, I really dislike ostentatious fashion. There is something truly horrible, for example, about a woman dressed head to toe in garish gold and black Versace, or some such, with the brand name shouting from every available surface. What I really like about the black Yohji stuff, gabardine or not, is its severe, almost monastic feel, and its visual humility. You feel the quality as a wearer, and you can appreciate the beauty of the fabric, the tailoring etc., but you aren't shouting to everyone around you that you are wearing an unconscionably expensive piece of conspicuous consumption. Besides, the whole oversized aesthetic means that people who are not familiar with Yohji are likely not to know how to categorise you. You could, to the average eye, simply look like someone with a penchant for black, wearing an oversized suit.
Edited by Arche - 9/12/13 at 7:28pm
Actually, I thought of you when I say this stuff, in that you could definitely pull off something fiercely colourful on the more usual monochrome background. The question, I guess, is while it might make for a great fit picture, could any of us get away with, or feel comfortable, wearing something like this IRL?