Yohji Yamamoto straddles worlds as a designer. Never mind ParisTokyo, there's the broader issue of the ambiguous, ever-evolving relationship between Japan and the rest of the planet. His latest menswear collection distilled those tensions into a face-off between the dark-toned restraint of his signature tailoring and the carnal release of graphics that drew on the work of classic comic artist Shotaro Ishinomori. Thus, a linen coat with tails flying in Yohji's typically Edwardian silhouette spun to reveal a back panel knitted with a naked Salome figure.
The collection was very much about that divergence between the face one shows to the world and the truth behind it. Nothing was quite what it initially presented itself to be. A khaki tail coat devolved into a panel of jacquard knit; trousers and coats were transformed by trompe l'oeil knit extensions. The show as a whole swung through distinctly schizophrenic moodshere a Nehru collar underneath a chic satin-lapelled jacket, there a frock-coat-and-cropped-pant combo in red felted wool. (The latter suggested the Artful Dodger enlisted in Napoleon's army.)
It made for an intriguing spectacle. Quite what it had to do with the way modern men want to dress was altogether another matter, though the
athletic-striped, knit-cuffed pants in indigo denim offered an infinitely desirable alternative to track pants for the man whose sporting prime is behind him.