Let other designers do frills. To Yohji Yamamoto, ruffles, ribbons, bows, and the like are all so much frippery. He may have been championed for some of his couture-like evening gowns in the not so distant pastand for good reasonbut Yamamoto has had menswear on the brain for the past couple of seasons. Continuing in that vein today, he riffed at length on his signature chic tailoring.
If that sounds conservative, there was nothing workaday about these particular suits. The first look, for example, was a blue-and-purple plaid tail coat that came with matching full-leg cuffed pants boasting a paper-bag waist. From there he moved on to black and navy pinstripes, distressed velvets, and a less-successful-than-the-rest tie-dyed wool, cutting it all into oversizesometimes massively sotwo- and three-piece silhouettes. Recognizing that a woman in an unreconstructed man's suit doesn't have the same revolutionary zip it did back in the early seventies, when he got his start, he draped the lot with a dressmaker's hand.
Elsewhere, the designer acknowledged the trends of the season, introducing layering, proportion play, a mostly somber palette (save for a perhaps unwise turquoise velvet), and a few standout trenches sure to make his retailers smile. And he did do embellishment, but on his own terms: cinching the back of a jacket with a column of D-rings or fastening a coat with a straightjacket's restraints. There was virtually no eveningwear to speak of, save for a couple of would-be gowns converted into drop-crotch pants by way of industrial zippers beneath the knees. No need to dwell on those, but the last two looks of the show were worthy of closer examination. His preoccupation with men's suiting notwithstanding, Yamamoto sent out a pair of intriguing corsets made from the twenty-first-century equivalent of whaleboning that showcased his first true love: the female form.