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Next up on the Paris Fashion Week agenda is one of the industry’s perennial crown jewel designers, Yohji Yamamoto. Much like Rick Owens and COMME des GARÇONS’ Rei Kawakubo, a Yohji show is placed in a league of its own; a devoir affair met with a star-studded front row whose notoriety is only measured by the seasoned Japanese designer’s revolutionary sartorial feats.

For Yohji’s SS17 women’s collection, the designer seemingly embraced his inner emo, dedicating this season to his “feelings,” a motif not unusual for the famously somber creative, who stated that during “my time in the fashion business, I’ve felt very alone.”

Though I’ve grown personally tired of hearing every collection with an overarching black color scheme being dubbed as “goth,” the presentation’s myriad spiked hairstyles, bondage wear, streaky make-up, combat boots and captain hats strongly elicited one of the subculture’s founding icons, Siouxsie Soux (though I doubt this was intentional).

In fact, the inspiration for the body wrapping, according to the designer, harked backed to a 1937 theater performance of L’Œdipe Roi (Oedipus Rex) by Jean Cocteau, where Coco Chanel costumed the actor’s body in white bandages (swapping the white for black in this case, obviously).

But the color swatch wasn’t exclusive to dark monochromatics; a series of white, oversized tunic-style pieces (some of them stark, others with blotchy black paint splattered over them) were measurably peppered in, while minimal (but salient) streaks of fiery red were integrated onto a misconfigured blazer top, overcoat and slip-dress.

The designer, in a cheeky attempt for “commercial” appeal, signed off a few looks with a handwritten signature threaded haphazardly onto their backsides. Not my favorite touch, but then again, Yohji’s most commendable moments have always been his most radical.

For more highlights from Paris Fashion Week, check out Yang Li’s SS17 collection.

Words by Nico Amarca
Fashion Editor, North America
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