Rei Kawakubo wasn't the only fashion designer who, during Paris Fashion Week, focused on finding a new silhouette for the future.
Concerned about creating innovative shapes that could surprise people, Yohji Yamamoto came up with a strong collection that primarily consisted of black pieces.
Some critics saw in the choice of this shade a Victorian inspiration, but this was first and foremost Yamamoto at his best. The lack of colour was indeed the perfect way to help focusing on the actual clothes.
New silhouettes were created via old techniques: tight pleats loosened up and unfolded, opening into skirts; twists of fabrics were employed to form sculptural fan-like motifs and ruffles; volumes were tweaked to alter the human body.
Yamamoto draped, ruched, folded, pleated and twisted fabrics; he created habitable asymmetrical architectures by playing with tailoring tricks that tried to establish harmonious relations with the body of the wearer.
Colours appeared in a military green and a grey design, both of them characterised by pleated elements, and a sense of dynamism was introduced by splashes of electric blue and vivid red, motifs painted by Yamamoto himself.
Embellishments came as threads that created patterns similar to random basting stitches (a trend anticipated by Gabriele Colangelo in Milan), but monochromatic minimalism returned in the final pieces, a selection of irregularly tailored coat-dresses with uneven hems that also hinted at Yamamoto's passion for working uniforms.
Accessories seemed borrowed from the working environment as well: there were indeed long earrings made by linking a series of key tags, a sort of punk twist to turn the ordinary into the inordinary.
The collection certainly proved that (as seen also in yesterday's post) black can be endlessly reinvented in many different ways, and can above all be used like a neutral canvas for pure creation and for a wide range of experiments, constructions and formations.
The designs didn't indeed have anything too austere about them, but verged more towards the poetical and the darkness illuminated, like the soundtrack that accompanied the runway, consisting in Yamamoto playing the guitar and adding to his tunes random broken lyrics.
Collections à la Yamamoto may not be Instagram friendly as they can't be filed under the visual candy category. Yet they focus on tailored elements that have the power to turn a garment into a timeless investment. Designs like these ones suggest it wouldn't be a bad idea if, at least for a while, we stopped filtering runways through smartphone screens and Instagram moments to reshift the attention on the real fundamentals of fashion.