When the three barges bearing Dan Flavin–like neon structures came drifting across the Hudson toward the audience gathered at the very tip of Pier 40, it was hard to escape the sensation that we were seeing the future of fashion. A huge sporting-goods concern was expending an inordinate number of corporate dollars to create a seductive spectacle around a collection of pretty basic clothes—and guess what? It worked! But that wasn't due only to the staging (which included a catwalk composed of moving walkways, a mannequin's death trap). Reassuringly, it also had a lot to do with the way designer Yohji Yamamoto has inserted his own sensibility into the Adidas workout-wear ethos.

So, one of Yohji's beloved cutaway jackets was paired with track pants. And another cutaway—this one in orange—was shown in tandem with matching trousers in nylon. Traditional shapes were sportily juiced up with hardware (zips instead of buttons on a blazer, for instance). By the same token, something as banal as a nylon blouson was made more interesting when it topped what looked like a black samurai skirt. The shoes—an essential connection in the Yohji-Adidas marriage—were of the moment, in a graphic black-and-white stripe. Rather more avant-garde was a closing passage of stretchy body condoms. Or maybe they were chrysalises, heralding an era of even greater prosperity for Yohji and his sporting-goods masters.