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Yohji, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Looser Fit (Yohji Yamamoto Thread)

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Ivwri, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. asobu

    asobu Well-Known Member

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    Also, is it wrong of me to think that this is kind of the greatest thing ever?

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    90% sure it's YY x Dr Marten collabs from AW07
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
    2 people like this.
  2. wireartists

    wireartists Well-Known Member

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    some more information about this would be great, I do find that I like better the stuff I buy from japan than europe...

    the boots on that pic are docs x yyph chelsea boots with side zips from aw07 (whole look is aw07)
     
  3. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    Been meaning to post this -


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    Also that picture is really cute asobu.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  4. syed

    syed Well-Known Member

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    Thank you :)

    I have been thinking about this too and find myself wondering whether there is anybody. There certainly are designers who started at Comme/Yohji - Chitose Abe worked at Comme for ten years before starting sacai (I believe Rei offered her a line at Comme but she said she wanted her own label), and matohu is run by husband and wife, he worked at Comme she worked at Yohji. Both are nice enough, but they are determinedly different to Rei or Yohji in approach - Abe wants to make wearable everyday clothes based on 'Tokyo elegance', and Sekiguchi and Horihata base their designs on an interpretation of traditional Japanese beauty. I think they both make beautiful clothes, but sometimes I wonder whether it is too beautiful and that is why it does not move me as much. With Yohji and Comme I think the clothes challenge you and make you think - it is never straightforward, even though when you wear it it looks and feels easy and natural. It might be clichéd to talk of the cerebral side of Yohji and Rei's work, but I think it does make a difference. I like clothes that raise questions without having to look entirely wacky and Gaultier-ish.

    With most Japanese designers today they do not seem to approach fashion with the same sense of questioning that Yohji and Rei did. You have those steeped in their backgrounds in vintage (N.Hoolywood), the process of the fashion dj and streetstyle (Takahashi), and repros from another era or country (denim companies, workwear companies, even someone like Nakamura). They seem to make clothes for the street and for certain fashion subcultures, charging high fashion prices without using the language of high fashion. Yohji questioned fashion from the inside - he was fully literate in fashion and made the effort to go to Paris and show, as did Rei. Yohji references the history of fashion, whilst the newer designers simply reference history. Yohji can 'quote' Balenciaga or Chanel or Vionnet in his dresses and his work, and by doing so, even if the wearer is unaware of these references, he places his work within (and without) the history of fashion. By referencing the past but doing so in a way that is not a simple transplant, but rather a translation into his own design language, as well as shying away from trends, his work is placed outside the cycle of fashion and thus outside of the traditional fashion system. It seems as if designers are happy to make reproductions or clothes for the street without seeking to change anything - as you say they are caught up with being cool and edgy. Yohji and Rei have always rebelled and have done so from the inside, conscious of the language and history of fashion, so their statements are all the more powerful.

    I love fashion and dress - what we wear, why we wear it, how we wear it, when we wear it, how the fashion system works, how the cycle of fashion works, the design side, the social side, the historical side, the cultural side, the material side, the production side, etc. etc. However I often find myself agreeing with Yohji - I hate fashion. Not the clothes, not fashion design, but rather what the fashion system has become. There is too much noise. "Faster, faster, cheaper, cheaper - people have started to waste fashion". I hate how money has become so much more important than design, where designers have to bend to the whims of an artificial market, keeping the fashion industry happy, or risk going out of business or having to make money designing for a trashy fast fashion house. Like Yohji says "When people are really tired of everything, then come, I can satisfy you." There are too many designers, too many clothes, too many trends, too much money, all clamouring to be heard. I don't want clothes that scream and shout, I want clothes that whisper gently in my ear. I think Yohji provides that.

    Fashion seems to be fully in control of the businesses and what Kawamura called the gate-keepers (the fashion mags, press, etc.,). We are told what to like rather than being left to decide for ourselves. I can pick up a magazine or browse a fashion website and all I see are - "Do's and Don'ts for this season", "The Top 10 [x]'s you need this season!", "The hot trends this season". One of my favourite Barthes quotes come to mind "Mass culture is a machine for showing desire: here is what must interest you, it says, as if it guessed that men are incapable of finding what to desire by themselves."

    I think he is a worldly (for want of a better phrase) designer. He may have roots in Japan, but his work combines a multitude of ethnic/cultural/geographic/social references. I think it is more to the point that being from Japan he will inherently have that frame of reference and knowledge to use. But it is the same with his use of fashion history - whether making an homage to Vionnet or referencing Madame Gres. I like that Yohji can use such an array of knowledge in his own way. So many designers today seem entirely ignorant of fashion history - not saying they must know it in order to be good, but it could certainly help. Learn from whichever avenues are available. It's like Yohji says - you have to learn the traditions, you need to know how to make a shirt before you can change it and make something new. People seem in a hurry to make something new without having that background knowledge.

    But yeah, never take yourself or fashion too seriously! I could wear head-to-toe Muji for the rest of my life, but where is the fun in that? :tounge:


    Thank you also :)

    It was more a passing thought really. I wonder how different it would be if show videos were recorded by a camera at the other end of the runway - the models walking away from us before they turn back and face us coming back. I mean, the audience sit on either side, so they see most of the looks side-on. Those close to catwalk start see the back of the looks at first, then the front as the models come back. Those at the far end see the front of the looks, and then the models turn away and they see the back. Sometimes I just wish I could see all the looks in 3D for want of seeing them in person.
     
  5. asobu

    asobu Well-Known Member

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    Incidentally this is how they seemed to record the AW12 collection for Yohji femme. I remember being very pleasantly surprised when I saw it. It's up on youtube, I'll see if I can find the link later on but I think it's the "official" video that will go up on the YY website once next season starts. Unfortunately due to the pacing it doesn't work as well as I hoped for, I wish the models would come out and finish their walk before the next one comes ut. At the beginning of the 90's he often had his models (at least for menswear) walk down the runway 2, 3 or 4 times before exiting. This is only tangentally related but the pacing for his AW10 show or AW99 is pretty mcuh perfect imo, when each model could be seen walking in a relaxed pace for a more extended period of time, when there was actually time to perceive the whole outfit before the next one is thrown in the watcher/consumer's face.


    Great post again, btw. :slayer: Hopefully I can respond a bit more when I have the time.
     
  6. syed

    syed Well-Known Member

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    Oh snap, haven't seen that video, thanks for the heads up :slayer: I suppose there are always time limitations, especially considering the frenzy of fashion week, so maybe you can send them out one at a time if you only have 24 looks, but with 48 you have to send them out in an overlapping stream. But yes, I'd much rather see them walk out relaxed (especially with Yohji), than storm in and out looking grumpy. I'm not sure when grumpy became synonymous with 'serious' fashion, although then again, I guess if the models at one of the more aggressive Rick shows came out smiling it would look rather odd. Fashion is consumed in such a disposable manner, and here I mean in the sense of visual consumption alone, that I do rather wish people would sit down and really take the time to watch and enjoy a show. I sometimes find that there are collections that do nothing for me in photographs, but having seen the runway show I feel more drawn to them. I suppose there is also a similar disconnect between runway and shopping rail too - how can you ever fully understand a garment without trying it on? It is why I rely on female friends trying on womenswear, or seeing it move on women, to get a better idea of the clothes. Things make sense in person that never quite do in photographs/videos or written description. But until there is a better way to represent fashion I suppose they will have to do - can't exactly try on every piece and every collection of every designer that takes my fancy!
     
  7. snowmanxl

    snowmanxl Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the info wire and asobu
     
  8. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    Nice post syed.

    You're right that the way we consume fashion is very limited in how much of an appreciation for the craft that goes into making these clothes it can give us.

    I guess that's why in addition to just trying on the clothing or having a look at pieces in person, discussions like these can help fill in the gaps that pictures and video by necessity must leave.

    Do you know any ladies that wear Yohji? Would be nice to get a different perspective on his clothing since most of the discussion online I have had is basically with guys. Would also be helpful since shah had earlier asked about how the sizing works for the women's line.
     
  9. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    More SS09 pics. I really liked the mood of this show :D

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    1 person likes this.
  10. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    Decided to post another collection, this time Spring-Summer 2008, also known as the "Remnants of a defeated army" collection.

    Obviously very military-inspired, the runway show has a very nice and subtle narrative. Showing what could possibly be a young soldier (or young soldiers) back from a war they never wanted to be part of reintegrating back into society, but not completely removing their martial trappings. They are also a bit exhausted and war weary since the clothes lack that neat, crisply ironed and shiny booted look generally associated with military uniforms. These are men that would rather be free to do their own thing.

    Apart from the visual narrative itself, which is pretty nice, I really like the way he executed some of his more archetypal pieces (the Edwardian jacket, baggy pants, waistcoats etc) with rougher fabrics giving them a very worn and rough feel. Anyway, I have two items (and now three thanks to wireartists) from this collection that are some of the first items I ever got in my own Yohji wardrobe (the pants from look 36 thanks to asobu and a cotton iteration of the "ronin" cargo pants that show up quite a bit in the collection in different fabrics) so I have a soft spot for this collection.


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    1 person likes this.
  11. the shah

    the shah Well-Known Member

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    too much touching and what not in that hand-aplique collection hah

    so i take it your wife has not come round to wearing yohji after all your success, Ivwri :p
     
  12. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    I am planning to begin indoctrination next month in Paris :slayer:
     
  13. the shah

    the shah Well-Known Member

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    hopefully it works out ! maybe next month you can answer my question above :eek:
     
  14. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you don't get an answer before then, will definitely get back to you on that and will speak to the S.As as well to get more advice. Is this for a lady friend or are you interested in an item for yourself?
     
  15. syed

    syed Well-Known Member

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    I wish I did :inlove: Most of my female friends are into European designers unfortunately.

    And SS09 was so good, I really want the suit from the opening look. And I liked those scissor print jackets, especially with the coloured tees underneath. Armarni made suits comfortable for men in the '80s, but Yohji makes them comfortable for everyday, and I love that. The look with the gent holding the newspaper and milk under his arm, with that paperbag waist, is killer - you can wear it out to grocery store with trainers or to a restaurant with derbies and it just looks natural.
     
  16. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, that look is excellent. Still on the lookout for something similar. So great how with one item you can be casual or dressed up (and still relaxed) in Yohji's universe.

    On a different note, why is it so hard to find women who wear Yohji in real life? :confused: not that I have met any guys in Yohji in real life either, but still... Only ever seen the female S.As.
     
  17. the shah

    the shah Well-Known Member

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    the answer is yes :D

    thanks, I guess I could always call the store (in Paris) ?

    there are some nice contributions on SZ of women wearing yohji, and I've seen perhaps a handful of guys in new york wearing the stuff. quite rare and dispersed throughout the world, the yohji clan is !
     
  18. Ivwri

    Ivwri Well-Known Member

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    You should definitely call the Paris store. The SAs there are very helpful and one of them, I think her name is Anifa, has been wearing Yohji for more than a decade now so I am sure she'd be able to help.

    EDIT - I really love Lumina's Yohji contributions (I think that's her anyway...and there's someone else as well that doesn't post that much who's fits are always great), just wish they posted more often.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  19. Parker

    Parker Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to see the Bob Dylan references in that SS2008 collection. I realized that Yohji is a baby boomer. I'm not sure that's what you'd call his generation in Japan, and I'm not sure how popular Dylan was there either, but seems he has some residual connection to the anti-war and civil rights movements of the 60s. At least that's what I read into it with my American eyes.

    This photo also reminded me a bit of this idea of coming home from war. It's also a Muddy Waters song which I'm sure Yohji is familiar with being a guitar player himself.

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  20. Lionheart Biker

    Lionheart Biker Well-Known Member

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    Iwvri, do you own any pants from the last collection you posted? I love the all the differente designs and they look like they would have a great flow while walking.
     

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