FASHION SCHOOL: PURE ELEGANCE FROM YOHJI YAMAMOTO

FASHION SCHOOL: PURE ELEGANCE FROM YOHJI YAMAMOTO

by Marcus Mitropoulos
5 min
YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

Yohji Yamamoto is on the Mount Rushmore of fashion designers who excel in darkness. His long, draped-over looks with dark accents have been grails to all for years. The craziest part? These clothes almost never existed. Yohji Yamamoto graduated from Keio University in 1966 with a degree in Law. While he was completing his degree, his mother owned and operated a dressmaking shop in Kabukicho. Shortly after graduating, Yamamoto opted to join his mother at her shop as he felt he didn’t want to join ordinary society. 

He enrolled in Bunka Fashion College, where he made a name for himself alongside Kenzo Takada and Junya Watanabe. Upon graduation, he went back home to set up a small ready-to-wear shop. This is where he truly found his voice as a designer.

Fast forward to today, and Yamamoto operates his mainline, along with Y. He’s been decorated by a multitude of International Fashion Organizations, including the Master of Design by Fashion Group International and Chevalier of Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. 

YOHJI X TEZUKA OSAMU ASTRO BOY TIE 

Considering that Yohji is a master of darkness, I figured it would only be right to start off with a bright and cheery look from the Japanese designer. In collaboration with Tezuka Osamu, the pair created a few anime-styled ties to pair with Yamamoto’s high-street-styled button ups. 

This one in particular, is a super unique take on your classic fat tie. Osamu himself is portrayed as an animated character, with Astro Boy in the background as his shadow. It’s a dope piece that extends Yamamoto’s portfolio beyond the overarching dark topics. 

YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

THE WHOLE MENSWEAR COLLECTION FROM FALL ‘13

One of the wildest shows, from a model standpoint, was Yamamoto’s Fall menswear collection in 2013. All of the models rocked iconic false facial hair, including classic barbershop mustaches and Mr. Miyagi beards.

The looks themselves were iconic. Everyone was dressed head to toe in monochromatic suits with elite tailoring. Jackets had off-the-beaten path buttoning patterns, pockets were overly sized, and pants were roomy. 

What made the show so important was the way the models interacted. Each of them embodied the aura of their clothes. Walking into each other, giving each other stern faces, and saluting the crowd were in abundance. 

YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

GABARDINE PLEATED PANTS

Drop crotch. Baggy legs. Wide waist. This is the Yohji staple. 

His Gabardine pleated pants are a terrific representation of the type of silhouettes he enjoys playing with. This particular pair utilizes Gabardine, which is one of Yohji’s favorite materials to utilize as they maintain comfort over multiple washes but remain brand new in their appearance.

YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

BUTTON DOWNS, FROM, LIKE, THE ENTIRE TIME

Among Yohji’s greatest collection of garments are his button-downs. Each of them are tailored for different body types year in, year out. So, if you’re purchasing for yourself, be sure to learn which years are more suitable for different body types. 

One of the hardest garms from Yohji was his Rayon/Satin blended button-up. The oversized, draped look is in full effect with this piece. The argyle knit embroidery is hidden beneath the black, although it pops once you get up close. The piece is washed after the design team stitches and knits it all together for a uniquely soft feel.

YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

SCRIPTED GARMS

One of Yohji’s coolest design accents were his scripted garments. He’s done a few button-downs and suit jackets that feature phrases like “JAPAN! This is for you,” and “Too many Do’s and Don’ts.” 

In Spring/Summer ‘03 Yohji released a super sleek all-black jacket with a large “06” on the right breast. On the left sleeve is a monochromatic “YY” to complete the scripted look. 

YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

ADIDAS X Y-3 ORISAN SNEAKERS

Another one of his street-influenced garms were the Orisan’s under Y-3. Today, they look very reminiscent of Adidas’ mainstream releases from retail boutiques. The boost on this particular pair is extremely thick, giving a very comfortable feel to an otherwise high fashion-looking sneaker.

YOHJI YAMAMOTO ©

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