Yohji Yamamoto's abiding interest in men's attire showed no sign of flagging on his spring runway, although the masses of oversized suits have thankfully disappeared. In their place was a focus on transparency. This reintroduced a welcome dose of sensuality to the proceedings, even if it didn't quite make up for a certain overall slackness.
Yamamoto started things off with an unreconstructed men's look: tailcoat, full pants in banker's stripes, and a starchy white shirt with a black band around its high collar. From there, he traded in those trousers for long, sheer skirts and that stiff shirt for blouses or diminutive bibs traced with delicate floral embroidery. Along similar masculine-feminine lines, Yamamoto cut a jacket's front panels in flannel and the back in chiffonthat's one way to stay cool in the heat of the summer.
Among the show's best pieces were a pair of apron dresses with pleats falling from the bodice, where they twisted to resemble fresh blooms. They served as a reminder of the heights this designer has reached with ruffles. The abbreviated finale, in which he sent out only a half-dozen girls, all in subtle variations of that first men's suit, more than confirmed his rep as a consummate tailor, but those girlish frills made you long for the days when Yamamoto really let rip with his couturemanship.