Spoiler alert: Not only was Yohji Yamamoto in the house, but for the first time ever the master took a turn on the runway, trailed like a pied piper by a crowd of children. (No, the darling little people weren't there merely to warm your hard heart. Yes, Y-3 is adding children's apparel.) But let's rewind a little. The love child of Yohji and Adidas returned to the windswept venue of Pier 40. Last go-round, there was a wall of ice as the backdrop; this time, the ice had melted into a bright abstract expressionist square painted by the Brooklyn artist MOMO, who also lent his handiwork to some of the clothes, tagging a few black blazers and a pair of jeans. But that, perhaps surprisingly, was as arty as the show got.
Sharply executed, the collection featured a dark, menswear-y mix, with the usual athletic details playing a subtle second fiddle (with the notable exception of eye-popping bright white sneaks that complemented the all-black looks quite well). This was Y-3's most straightforward and commercial offering to date. But the "c" word is in no way meant as a dig. It actually felt like a revelation to watch Y-3's occasionally awkward dance between sports and style give way to the simple I-want-to-wear-it appeal of, say, a pitch-perfect duffel coat, punched up slightly with white toggles, or a velvet-trimmed tuxedo jacket. Most style watchers in the past have probably asked themselves, "Well, OK, but who wears it?" If the label keeps evolving in this direction, maybe before long the answer will be a chorus of "Me!"