Yohji Yamamoto “The Men” Runway Show in Tokyo
More than 3,000 people crammed into the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo last night, April 1, 2010, to see the return of a living legend. Fashion designer and Japanese icon Yohji Yamamoto held his first menswear runway show in the capital for nearly twenty years. The audience clapped and cheered as several personalities, including singer Monsieur Kamayatsu, former national soccer coach Philippe Troussier and writer Makoto Shiina, nonchalantly ambled down the raised catwalk.
Japanese jazz band Peace-K played some awesome and very chilled music before, during, and after the show. And the list of celebrities wasn’t restricted to the runway. Models, designers, and stylists such as Yasuhiro Mihara and Tsuyoshi Nimura, and a gaggle of Tokyo’s fashion industry insiders rubbed shoulders with fans and a number of Yamamoto’s sartorial disciples.
Things haven’t been easy for Yamamoto as his company’s recent bankruptcy has had a huge effect on his business operations around the globe. One aspect of his new streamlined empire is that his popular line Y’s for men has been integrated with the main brand Yohji Yamamoto Homme, meaning that Y’s SS10 collection is its final offering.
Yamamoto, a native of Tokyo, burst onto the Japanese fashion scene in the 70s and started showing his collections in Tokyo in 1977. He leaped onto the world stage by moving to Paris in the early 80s, and along with Comme des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake became the first wave of Japanese designers to gain international recognition and acclaim.
His latest collection was really an amalgamation of his greatest hits with some fresher pieces. Yamamoto’s signature black suits give a relaxed silhouette (for which he is famous) and the newer garments included some camouflage suits and splashes of color seen in funky red coats and headwear. He also likes to break rules by matching tailored black jackets with navy blue trousers. Although usually a fashion no-no, Yamamoto makes it looks like the most natural look in the world.
The event, although advertised as a fashion show, was actually much more. It was a tribute and testimonial to one of the most loved, respected and influential fashion designers in the world.
Yohji Yamamoto Homme presents “The Men”
(Click any photo to enlarge it.)
External Link: Yohji Yamamoto Official Website
Article text by Paul McInnes and all photos by Will Robb.
About the author:
Paul McInnes is a fashion and arts journalist based in Tokyo. He is the fashion editor (menswear) and contributing arts editor of The Japan Times. He is also the Tokyo editor of Sportswear International and contributes to publications such as High Fashion, Dazed Digital, JC Report and Japanese Streets. He has also been interviewed for TV including NHK’s Tokyo Fashion Express and lifestyle magazines such as Metropolis and Kaleidoscope magazine.
About the photographer:
As long as he is behind his camera Will is a happy man. He has photographed everything from the slums of Bangkok to the catwalks of Tokyo. He is a contract photographer for Lonely Planet, his images and photo essays have appeared in Time Out, The Japan Times, Sportswear International and a variety of other newspapers, magazines and guidebooks around the world and his photo essays from Iraq for The Griffith Review even earned him a mention in the Australian book review of the year in 2006. In addition to his media related work, Will also shoots events, portraits, weddings and the occasional CD cover. Whatever he’s working on, he always writes about his jobs and how he goes about them at Will Robb Photography.