There's been a certain low-key grandeur to Yohji's collections of late, but he really dialed down the volume with this homespun offering. A handful of the models were his own agehandsome old guys, their faces a road mapand when they all took the stage at show's end, it was sort of like an elegiac Clint Eastwood moment. Kinda fab, kinda sad, with clothes to match. Hence, the topstitching that gave some of the pieces such a worn-but-worthy edge, like wrinkles. (The hopsack suit with its red threads suggested that Mama ran out of cotton while she was sewing it at home.)
Couple the unprofessionals with the young modelsand the defiantly chunky English artist Steve McQueenand it was obvious that Yohji was making a statement about all shapes and sizes. But he also had another political point to make. "The world is becoming worse and worse," he said backstage. "My message is, let's be happy." It might be that happiness is a moveable feast for him, because it wasn't immediately obvious in the dark fabrics, rough textures, and signature asymmetry. But a series of jackets appliquéd with gestures and phrases that could be interpreted as the analysis of a relationship"Shall We? " "Don't Do That," "Forget Me Not"were drolly amusing. And the lace shirts in red and cobalt blue were upliftingly decorativeby Yohji's light, at least.