February 07, 2006 New York
Owned by Adidas and designed in part by Yohji Yamamoto, Y-3 was conceived as an active-sportswear line, but there have since been efforts to reposition it as a fashion brand. Growing pains were evident today, andlike the wardrobe of a moody teenageralmost all the clothes were black. These ranged from schoolgirl kilts worn with oxford shirts and hoodies to leather jackets that topped vixenish second-skin jeans. Looking for Yamamoto in the clothes can be frustrating. Yes, the paper-bag-waisted skirts from last spring reappeared, and the opening pea coat had a sophisticated cut, but overall the collection felt like an attempt to determine how many different ways the Adidas and Y-3 logos can be splashed about (they were applied to everything from tweed boots to mohair shawls).
Still, a few pieces were worth seeking out, including a curve-seamed cardigan, a cute mini with a built-in cuff detail, and an activewear ensemble in royal blue that suggested fashion and sports can meet. Y-3 has potential (those covetable separates, that sporty vibe), but first it will have to get over its identity crisis.