Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and in Yohji Yamamoto’s case, so is ugly.
The designer cast his collection as a battle between the two sides across the ages. He filled the catwalk with spacious pieces, between jackets and pants, and hats very similar to the ones he wears himself. They are worn, crumpled pieces that convey a languid atmosphere, full of dragonfly brooches and prints inspired by oil paintings from the 16th century.
He sent out felt brim hats (similar to the ones he always wears) that looked as if they’d been chewed by a wild animal.
But he also offered a gallery’s worth of painterly prints and delicate touches such as sparkly dragonfly brooches, and frothing ruffles on his signature roomy jackets and trousers.
There was never any doubt which side was going to win.
While some of this collection tipped into Raggedy Andy territory, specifically those distressed hats and the stringy edges on a few baggy coats and trousers, the collection stayed true to Yamamoto’s dark bohemian aesthetic.
Fat lasagne ruffles twisted down the sides of roomy trousers, while a clutch of silver safety pins jangled from the pocket of a long black jacket.
At one point Yamamoto replaced those shiny pins with dragonfly brooches fluttering across the front of striped or crinkly jackets. Other arty coats and jackets had a homespun edge, with knotted fabric dangling from the hems or cuffs.
Prints were inspired by 16th-century oil paintings, with angels tumbling down dark suits and the face a bejeweled noblewoman flashing from the front of a long, fluid shirt.
Ugly? Beautiful? Does it even matter? This was Yamamoto having fun, and asking his customers to join in.