Yohji Yamamoto is a man's man. Not for him the disco
fripperies of fashion. Instead, for his latest show,
he favored the vocal stylings of Tom Waits, Leonard
Cohen, and Captain Beefheart, three of music's great
croakmeisters. Those crooners can come across as both
insufferably lugubrious and bracingly tongue-in-chic,
and so it was with these clothes. At first, the
relentless navy, the boxy silhouette, and the tricksy
lapels (doubled, or detached and hanging down, or
buttoned across, or pleated) suggested the Yohji we
know all too well. But then his playful side took
College-striped wool jackets featured stitched slits
back and front, which gaped like wounds. OK, maybe
that's not so cheery, but the treble clef embroidered
on the back of another jacket was reminiscent of
surrealist Man Ray's famous superimposition on a
woman's bare back. Jackets draped with medal-like
attachments had a toy-soldier charm, matched by a
four-star general's insignia writ large as an
Yohji's latest Adidas collaboration registered in
sneakers decorated with artist Taishi Hayashi's
colorful interpretations of a tiger, eagle, wolf, and
dragon, with tops to match. The decoration extended to
an overstitched crimson spiral pattern on a navy coat.
The final passage was all about trims, like
passementerie on jackets and coats, or the great loops
of leather that limned the hem of a huge purple trench
and the collar of the shirt beneath. What was the
significance of these insectoid protuberances?
"Gothic," said Yamamoto cryptically, pointing to a
small blue dot woven into the lapel of his jacket.
Well, if you say so, Yohji.