Limi Yamamoto's invitation was one of the season's most charming—and most enigmatic. Amid the numbered but mostly blank pages of a small book, a few questions were posed. The designer insisted it was all a joke, but one—"C'est un peu de Yohji Yamamoto?"—seemed especially relevant.
There wasn't a little of Limi's father, there was a lot, in a collection that was more respectful of her heritage than anything she has designed to date. At the same time, it felt like she was making a statement about Japanese fashion in general. As one of the prominent figures in Japan's next wave, Limi has said she is keen to keep traditional techniques and suppliers afloat while defining her own identity. In the past, she has injected an idiosyncratic, almost frilly take on femininity into the more predictable androgynous, asymmetric vocabulary her father and his peers have made their own. Not so much this time round. Androgyny was the core of the collection. Emblematic menswear details—collars, lapels, pockets—were exaggerated, sometimes to spectacular effect: The sleeves of a crisp white shirt were as wide as a kimono's but still had buttoning cuffs.
The androgynous point was reinforced by a handful of male models—all shapes and ages—wearing the womenswear. Asymmetry was emphasized in skirts that were gathered at one ankle. A chambray with indigo dots felt like the kind of artisanal fabric the grand masters of Japanese fashion would be drawn to. They'd also surely approve of the swelling volumes of the dresses that closed the show. Like the rest of this not entirely typical Limi collection, those looks left an odd but not unappealing sensation—almost as if the designer were selflessly saying, "Let's win this one for my dad, for my country."