33 posts tagged "Yohji Yamamoto"
If, like me, you are a Japanese design devotee, get ready to empty your savings account. Lynn Yaeger, acclaimed fashion journalist, New York eccentric, and aggressive wearer of Comme des Garçons, was recently appointed as the curator of vintage clothing at Yoox.com. The release of her first shoppable selection happened to coincide with Yoox’s 10th anniversary of launching in Japan. And what better way to celebrate than with a range of hard-to-find items designed by Japanese fashion demigods like Issey Miyake, Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo, Kansai Yamamoto, Kenzo Takada, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe? “These clothes are revolutionary in their conception and execution,” Yaeger told The Independent of the collection, which she’s titled “Mezurashi Hakken,” or “Rare Discovery” in English. “They are beyond season, they never date. Clothes that look a little strange on the hanger can be wonderful on the body. For this collection, each piece had to be a unique, interesting example of each designer’s contribution, and they have to be wearable,” added Yaeger, who reportedly scoured the world to hunt down these pivotal pieces. Judging by the number of garments that are heartbreakingly marked SOLD, it would seem that Yaeger’s debut Yoox effort is going pretty well. With that in mind, I advise you to shop quickly—these vintage treasures won’t last.
“There’s a lot of ugly vintage out there,” said Byronesque founder Gill Linton. “I look at some vintage stores, and I’m like, ‘This is trash. It’s not fashion. There’s no story behind it. And you’re giving it such a bad name.’” You won’t find any of that rubbish on Linton’s website, which she launched in 2012 with the help of Marvin Traub Associates and Theory’s Andrew Rosen. As a die-hard vintage addict (and frequent Byronesque browser), I can personally attest to the fact that Linton only sells the crème de la crème of previously loved designer clothes and that Byronesque is the prime source of authentic vintage—i.e., clothes over twenty years old—on the Web. Byronesque is a veritable vault of lust-worthy vintage wares by the likes of Azzedine Alaïa, Vivienne Westwood, Pierre Cardin, Thierry Mugler, and more. So naturally, when Linton invited me to a private viewing of the latest additions to the site—which will be available to stylists for shoots for the first time—last week, I scurried on over.
Buyers from the Met had beat me to the event and scooped up an original 1920s frock, an authentic 1980s Yohji Yamamoto bustle coat (famously snapped by Nick Knight), a rare white crucifix-embellished Alaïa, and a sculptural black-and-white Issey Miyake gown. “I do love when they go to good homes,” Linton said of the museum’s purchases. The Met’s interest in Linton’s finds is a testament to her well-trained eye and standout merchandise. And despite the museum’s informed acquisitions, there was still much in the collection to gawk at. A custom-made Alexander McQueen three-piece men’s suit (complete with his signature lock of hair), an almost uptown-apropos lemon Galliano frock (“Though you wouldn’t see quite this much fashion tit on the Upper East Side,” laughed Linton), and a 1990s warrior-inspired Comme des Garçons ensemble comprise just a sampling of what’s available. “This is what we call contemporary vintage,” explained Linton. “It’s different from being classic—classic is safe. But it’s relevant and wearable today, and nobody’s going to say you look like an extra in Downton Abbey or an Austin Powers movie.” To wit, one of Linton’s colleagues turned up to the soiree wearing shorts by Rick Owens, which were the spitting image of the vintage Armani “Wigger Shorts” that hung on the rack next to him.
Many of the most covetable pieces, like a serious supermodel-era neon tweed bra, shorts, and jacket by Chanel; the abovementioned Issey Miyake look; a cracked leather McQueen coat; a sea foam tulle Yves Saint Laurent dress; and an iconic leopard-print Alaïa frock, are courtesy of two singular women: model Irina Pantaeva and pop star Cristina Monet. The former was a muse to Miyake, and was actually photographed by Irving Penn wearing the gown purchased by the Met. The latter was a post-punk music maven with a miniature waist and impeccable taste. Their clothes have stories behind them—not only because they were designed by icons, but because of the life these women gave them. And that life, along with the garments’ superior aesthetic and quality, is what Linton is selling. “I really want people to feel excited about these clothes and their past,” Linton told us. After thumbing through this selection, it’s hard not to be.
Byronesque’s latest offering will be available on the website next week, but to reserve your favorite piece ahead of the pack, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come Thursday, Dover Street Market won’t be the only conceptual Japanese-centric retailer in town—Tokyo-based department store Isetan is bringing its Nipponista pop-up to Soho. “Isetan considers New York the hub of fashion in the business sense, and their ultimate goal is to open a permanent store,” said Kohsuke Miki, the creative director of the project. The weeklong pop-up is sponsored by both Isetan and the Japanese government’s Cool Japan initiative, through which the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry aims to promote Japanese products, craft, and technique abroad.
“For more than twenty years, there hasn’t been significant [Japanese] talent that actually surpasses the talent that existed before it,” Kohsuke said. “In the eighties there was Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, and in the seventies there was Issey Miyake, Kansai Yamamoto, and Kenzo Takada.” Kohsuke believes that Nipponista, a cuter construct of the word Japanophile, is the right first step in establishing the new guard of Japanese creative talent and design.
Nipponista’s 2,000-square-foot space, which debuts exclusively here, features wares from some of the heritage brands Kohsuke mentioned—there’s a vintage Yohji Yamamoto ensemble, as well as choice pieces from Kansai Yamamoto’s latest collection (he revived his brand in 2013). But a coterie of designs from five emerging talents, who were commissioned to craft clothes in traditional Japanese indigo, or “Japanese blue,” is the centerpiece. Other fashion offerings include handmade sneakers from Hender Scheme, wearable embroidery from Maison des Perles, geometric jewelry from Shihara, delicate scarves from Suzusan, and garments from Anrealage and Yoko Chan, among others. Everything in the shop—even the giant window display of a teddy bear, which was constructed with hundreds of tiny balloons by artist duo Daisy Balloon—was made in Japan. Continue Reading “Nipponista Lands in New York: Finally, a Pop-Up Store That’s Worth Visiting” »
We here at Style.com are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Rei Kawakubo’s New York Dover Street Market, which will open its doors on Saturday. But according to WWD , the Big Apple is in for yet another dose of Japanese retail bliss. Isetan, Japan’s largest, and possibly coolest, department store, is opening a pop-up in Soho. The shop will bow at 47 Greene Street and is slated to run from February 6 to 13—launching just in time for fashion week. Isetan comes to us by way of the Cool Japan campaign, an effort by the Japanese government to help brands get global exposure. Kansai Yamamoto (i.e., the designer who created David Bowie’s famous striped jumpsuit), Mint Designs, N. Hoolywood, and Yohji Yamamoto are just some of the labels that will be available. All we have to say is, Arigato.