Against a hypnotic soundtrack of chants that seemed part Native-American, part Tibetan, Yohji Yamamoto sent out a bravura collection that suggested a luxurious cocooning against an arctic winter.
In the poetic Yamamoto tradition, his models looked like the brides of Mongolian or Tartar warriors. The designer's light touch also ensured that the potentially cumbersome volumessweeping ankle-length coats with deep-set sleeves, layered over full skirtswere controlled via airy duvet linings and decorative hand-stitched quilting.
Yamamoto used fur--real fox and faux wolfto circle hoods and collars and to bristle from beneath the hems of padded crinoline skirts, as well as for such swaggering accessories as overscaled Cossack hats, loop stoles, gauntlets and muffs. He juxtaposed the magnificence of jacquard fabricstheir patterns suggesting antique paisley shawlswith the savage edge of animal skins, transformed into fitted sheaths. These were deftly seamed to follow the skins' natural ragged edgesa theme brilliantly developed in layered fabric pieces, with the hems cut in ragged imitation of those animal pelts. An Inuit-inspired couple and their enchanting swaddled baby closed the show, suggesting the sensuous pleasures of wrapping up against the cold.