Just as the Yohji Yamamoto show seemed nearly over, the designer sent out a final grouping of looks that, in his typical jokester fashion, are impossible to appreciate from these runway photos. Tacked to the rear of a toile suit jacket was a photo print of a cat accompanied by the word Perdu ("lost" in French). Next, another lost cat, this time with the notice in English. Then came a lost dog. Finally, there was a model wearing a sign advertising a lost Yohji. This nonconformist self-awareness—whether in jest or in truth—is among the reasons why Yamamoto cannot be written off for as long as he continues to design. Comparatively, this collection happened to offer a wider range of
retail-friendly, relevant pieces than previous seasons. Backstage, the designer explained his desire to depict a hodgepodge of personal styles: casual, formal, avant-garde, and elegant. It was tempting to slap clearer names on these guys—artist, outlaw, hobo—in large part because Yamamoto couldn't resist the transformation of his models into oddball dramatis personae. They wore head scarves or double hats and buttoned their jackets in unusual ways. Thanks to strap systems like backpacks, they let jackets hang from their bodies as if this were normal. Their clothing was often covered in random script, from a "Lost Angeles" headband to pants with "Made in Japan" stamped in silver or "No. 1" printed down one leg.
But despite all the quirks, Yamamoto can still turn out interesting clothes—pajama jacquards covered in a faded motif of old, stained-glass rosettes; faux bleach splotches stitched onto suiting; jailhouse-striped pants that appeared counterintuitively gentlemanly. The denim grouping was most interesting of all. He said he was tired of seeing jeans that looked "out of fashion." His solution: trompe l'oeil holes, roomy gaucho pants, and a dramatic denim cape. As for the unappetizing trail of bilious paint, freshly poured onto the runway (which subsequently turned the models' soles yellow), Yamamoto confirmed the worst by feigning a retching gesture. Not many designers would go that extra step to art direct their runway with bathroom humor. Maybe the vomit stood for something cathartic—although Yamamoto stopped short of saying he found himself in this collection. He can be described in many ways, but never, ever as trite.