Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto book debuts with Victoria & Albert museum retrospective

G London's Victoria & Albert Museum is going full tilt with its celebration of avant-garde fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto -- staging a retrospective exhibit of the designer's work, opening March 12, and (for those of us who aren't able to jet to the U.K.) publishing a companion coffee-table book, "Yohji Yamamoto."

The deluxe tome, which features images from runway shows, advertisements and editorial photo shoots over the years, paints a compelling portrait of the reclusive designer, whose work is defined by his fascination with textiles. "Fabric is everything," he has said. "Often I tell my pattern makers, 'Just listen to the material. What is it going to say? Just wait. Probably the material will teach you something.' "

Yamamoto's billowing, sculptural designs, which have often flouted gender roles, have inspired a generation of designers. And the book strives to distill that influence through essays written by close collaborators and friends, including photographers Max Vadukul and Nick Knight; Irene Silvagni, creative director for the brand; and Ligaya Salazar, curator of contemporary programs at the V&A.

The back of the book even includes a (slightly unweildy) roundtable discussion with art director Marc Ascoli, Knight and graphic designer Peter Saville, chaired by curator Magdalene Keaney.

But, as with most fashion books, the images speak most succinctly when it comes to defining the designer's aesthetics, eras and obsessions. And as dramatic and voluminous as Yamamoto's clothes are, they were tailor made for fashion photography.

Memorable photographs include a young Stella Tennant in mid-dance, nearly enveloped in waves of black fabric; Guinevere van Seenus dolled up like a gent in a wool garbardine jacket (pictured); and Amber Valetta wearing a quilted floor-length piece that feels — as many of Yamamotos designs have over the years — as much cocoon as it does coat.

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: a 1997 image of Guinevere van Seenus in a Yohji Yamamoto design. Credit: Paolo Roversi

New York Fashion Week: Y-3 calls in the cavalry

Rage y3 collage

For its fall-winter 2011 collection, Y-3 (the collaboration between Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto) could have been having a "True Grit" moment (the floor of the venue was covered in a thin layer of gritty sand, after all), or been simply tapping into the overall Western/rural/country zeitgeist we've been noticing, (cue the soulful train-whistle soundtrack and the audio clip of Harry Dean Stanton from the 1984 film "Paris, Texas"), but the clothes that came down the runway on Sunday had an undeniable prairie vibe to them.

At least the women's side of the collection did, with a range of Western-inspired pieces including prairie skirts, capelets and a healthy dose of buffalo plaid.

From a distance, the men's side of the Y-3 line seemed to have a subtle military feel (circa World War I) in pieces such as the brown, baggy wool trousers with contrasting tweed cargo pockets and khaki safari jackets with detachable gray suiting fabric hoods. There were also a fair number of toggle button jackets  -- the season's trending outerwear piece -- for both men and women.

But, as the male models passed by, bucking and galloping horse screen-print designs could be seen on their T-shirts and printed or appliqued on the back of their jackets, along with slogans such as "homeward bound."

Military meets horse play? Sounds like Y-3 has called in the cavalry.

Westward ho!

 -- Adam Tschorn in New York

Photos: Looks from the Y-3 fall-winter 2011 runway collection shown on Sunday during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times

Your morning fashion and beauty report: Couture is booming? Iconic swimwear photos

Couture week Recession, shemession: Apparently couture houses are seeing a rise in demand. [WWD, subscription required]

Lily Cole will help kick off Paris couture week with the launch of her the North Circular knitwear label at Colette. [WWD]

Here's a clip of "Rachel Zoe" season 3, um sans Taylor Jacobson. [N.Y. Post]

Famously plus-size model Crystal Renn is looking rather svelte lately. [Huffington Post]

French Connection's new brand Pippa will debut at Bloomingdale's. [WWD, subscription required]

MAC and Disney plan to make magic with a villains collection. [WWD, subscription required]

Murad moves into teen, makeup lines. [WWD, subscription required]

From Kristen Stewart to Rihanna: Why red is the celebrity hair color du jour. [Daily Mail]

Video: Kelly Cutrone, Justine Bateman discuss Wonder Woman's makeover. [Huffington Post]

Photos of Khloe Kardashian are slimmed down for swimwear campaign. [Daily Mail]

Iconic swimwear photos (that may or may not have been Photoshopped). [StyleList]

Coming soon to bookstores: the Yohji Yamamoto story. [Telegraph UK]

Need something to read over the long weekend? Here are some books on American fashion. [Style Section L.A.]

-- Whitney Friedlander

Photo: Christian Dior exhibit at the autumn-winter 2009 Haute Couture week in Paris. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Paris Fashion Week: Yohji Yamamoto sails on

Yohji Yamamoto's company recently went into and came out of Chapter 11, but that didn't distract him from showing a pitch-perfect collection with nautical uniforms as its starting point.

Yamamoto began with the long pleated skirts, pinafores and boxy jackets that are his bread and butter. But then he moved on to riff on outerwear, creating some of the most youthful and accessible pieces he's shown in a long time.

Highlights included a navy blue double-breasted, drop-waist coat with an uneven pleated skirt; a short bustier dress resembling a deconstructed pea coat with rows of buttons on the bodice and angled flap pockets at the hips; and a ribbed fisherman's sweater dress.

He finished with several whimsical black coats that had faces in profile made from winding seams.

Wellies and fedoras were the perfect final touches to complete the peaceful journey.

-- Booth Moore, reporting from Paris


More photos from Yohji Yamamoto's fall 2010 runway

More reviews from Paris Fashion Week

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Photos: Yohji Yamamoto's fall 2010 runway in Paris. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times


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