Saturday, 4 May 2013

Yohji Yamamoto S/S 1999

Yet another iconic collection comes courtesy of Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto. Famous for his reluctance to incorporate colour into his collections, his penchant for all things minimalist entered the mainstream in an era in which Italian powerhouses such as Gucci and Versace were dominating the market with their bold, luxe designs. Yamamoto's dedication to his signature aesthetic and eye for tailoring soon gained him a cult following which has continued to develop over the years. 1999's avant-garde presentation has gone down in fashion history as one of the greatest, partly thanks to fashion darling Shalom Harlow (star of McQueen's celebrated 'No.13' show).

One of the main reasons that Yamamoto is so celebrated is that he manages to use texture to add interest to a monochrome colour palette. The overall feel of the collection was one of ethereality - soft black chiffon and white ribbon were amongst the materials used. There was also innovation to be found in the "Secret Dress" - a white bodice with a full white skirt was revealed to have zip-away panels which stored a heavy linen cape, headwear and even white gloves.

The Secret Dress

The show climaxed with the appearance of the legendary AndrĂ© Leon-Talley, accompanied by a bride that removed a heavy silk cape to reveal Yamamoto's androgynous take on bridalwear. Perhaps a take on traditional gender roles, the "bride" wore high-waisted black trousers with braces and an intricate cream lace blouse, finished with a delicate top hat draped in metres of white ribbon. Following them was a model dressed in a full-length strapless dress which was shown to have a removable corset, once again giving the show the feel of a presentation as opposed to a traditional runway show. As always, Yamamoto chose not to follow the rules - and it worked spectacularly.

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