August 27 2014

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Japan’s Prodigal Son Returns To Show At Home


Japanese fashion maestro Yohji Yamamoto made a long-awaited homecoming last week, showing his Fall 2010 menswear collection in Tokyo after a 19-year absence. (Yamamoto-sensei sent a much needed jolt through the city’s style scene, after last week’s underwhelming Japan fashion week.) As the sun set over blooming cherry blossom trees, more than 3,200 black-clad fans flocked to herald Yamamoto’s return at the futuristic Kenzo Tange-designed Yoyogi National Stadium. Despite the clamor, this was still an intimate affair. Yamamoto’s daughter, Limi Feu designer Limi Yamamoto, arrived decked out in Dad’s clothes, while her friends Albatross played an eclectic interpretation of Japanese children’s folk music.

The models included some of Japan’s most respected writers, actors, and musicians: old-school rock icon Monsieur Kamayatsu strutted in pink, while camo-clad rapper Zeebra and actor Claude Maki high-fived midway down the runway and former national soccer coach (and avid Yohji fan) Philippe Trossier kicked a soccer ball around. “This is kind of a compensation for my absence from Japan for 20 years. I am Japanese, and I am sorry Japan—I forgot you!” Yamamoto said backstage after the show. The looks were classic YY, with his trademark black dominating. “My sub-theme was Japan and its future. Japan doesn’t have to compete for economic power anymore. We should put our energy toward appreciating our beautiful country,” he explained.

Yamamoto plans to hold a retrospective at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum in 2011, and will continue to expand in Asia, as well. But that’s business, and last night was personal. After chatting politely with journalists, he turned to his daughter. “So, what did you think?”

Photo: Masaki Hiroyasu

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