July 05, 2003
Once again, Yohji Yamamoto chose to show his Ready-to-Wear line during Couture, a full two months ahead of the usual schedule. This Spring collection, he said, was an exercise in “doing something graphic.” That meant working squares of fabric, linked Paco Rabanne–style with metal rings, into many variations of bodices, which came attached to long, flowing skirts. The surprise was the sense of body that came through—literally. Though he stayed almost entirely with his habitual black, cutting pinafore dresses and overalls suspended from complex straps and ties, the torso beneath was naked, save for body paint, applied in chalky blocks by Shiseido.
The focus was mainly on evening, save for a series of arty takes on that most American of classic looks: the white tee and jeans. Skintight gauze T-shirts, again stretched over painted torsos, were paired with baggy, low-hanging, washed-out denims, a cross-bred version of hip-hop pants and Japanese workwear. The one shot of color in the show arrived in the footwear: chunky foam platform flip-flops—some attached to toeless, heel-less neoprene socks—in bright red, leaf green, turquoise, and yellow, that came over as a sporty take on Japanese geta. Naturally, all were emblazoned with three white go-faster stripes, in a nod to the designer’s ongoing collaboration with Adidas.