12 September 2012

A Spring In Your Step

Fashion weeks tend to pass me by in a noisy flurry. It is usually only after the fact that I really get to sit down and begin to unravel the cacophony of colours and clothes without the distractions of people caught up in the moment. These days you seem to have to wade through far too much sh...stuff to find the worthwhile collections, but I think that adds to the excitement when you do find a show you like. I usually note my initial reaction to the shows, return having read and seen all the information I can find about the collection, return once again before they hit the stores, and return yet again when they arrive in stores and I have had the chance to handle and try on the pieces in person. It is surprising how much your views on a collection can change from the time it shows to the time it hits the stores, but I think there is a lot to be learnt if you study that journey you take. Fashion is after all a very personal experience.

I thought I would share some of the looks from this season's (well, next season's) 10th anniversary Y-3 collection that caught my eye. Perhaps rather unsurprisingly I was drawn to the less overtly sporting and more restrained side of the collection. I think the tailoring in Y-3 is actually far more impressive than people give it credit for, especially having handled many of the 'luxe' pieces (they are generally the runway pieces and are priced accordingly, separating them from the more logo-driven basics). The prints designed by Chikami Hayashi, the printmaker to the Japanese royal family, were beautiful but I was not a great fan of the way they were styled, hence the absence here. No doubt I will return at some point in the future for a proper review post of the collection.

I am not really a fan of prominent branding and logos, for it is in my mind an uneasy combination of advertising and conspicuous consumption. Of course it is in actuality an inescapable reality for the most parts. There are those designers whose work is so clearly narrated within their own aesthetic vocabulary that it is instantly recognizable. And there are also those pieces that are iconic in their own right without the aid of any overtly conscious branding or logos (the shape of a Coke bottle). Images themselves become iconic and thus enter the realm of the branded product.

So how does one approach branding without the insensitivity of blatant advertising? Where this collection is concerned I rather liked the approach that Yohji and Dirk took with their incorporation of Adidas' three stripes. On this blazer, as with many of the other pieces on which the stripes featured, it seemed like a conscious design element rather than a prerequisite detail. Too often logos seem to become the very centre of the garment's design, or else are tacked on like an afterthought. Here although the three stripes are unmissable, they are complimented by a white stripe on the corresponding side of the jacket collar. A small detail perhaps, but one that comfortably naturalizes the stripes.

These trousers looked incredible in movement. I am still on the hunt for a decent pair of baggy black trousers, but I would like a pair that move like these did, albeit with a far lower crotch (and a higher rise, assuming these were not high-waisted). Although I am not usually a fan of heels, I think they worked well with the trousers here.

I liked the look of this suit, especially the trousers which were here folded over at the waist, with the braces hanging down to display the three stripes. I actually think this suit looked better in the ecru colour presented later on in the show (see below). I am also rather interested in giving the waistcoat a closer look - the zipper gives it a far more functional use, and the side zip breast pocket was a nice touch.

Considering how lightweight the fabric for this jacket was, I thought that the structure and cut was very clever. The silhouette it provided when coupled with those shorts was also nice in movement. It was interesting to see that the three stripes were more stylized here with that thicker middle band. For whatever reason I feel that had the banding been present on both sleeves the jacket would not have looked as good - the asymmetry is far more appealing.

One word - cute. Not sure about the hat but the rest of it looked lovely for a weekend stroll around the market.

A nice black suit. Note the zippered side pockets of the jacket. The shape of the lapel looks a touch off in this shot for whatever reason. It was also refreshing to see the longer sleeves on all the men's jackets in this collection, providing a bit more of that Yohji nonchalance. I just wish the fit of the jacket was a touch bigger in this look.

The construction on this jacket looked really interesting, especially with the choice between zipper and button closure. I do rather wish they had included a few more flap pockets (like the first few looks at Yohji's mainline Spring/Summer 2008 show), but there we are, it was nice nevertheless. I thought the trousers in the previous look I posted fit better, as the leg was too slim here, but it could actually be the same trousers in different sizes.

I liked this jacket-cardigan combination, with the elasticated cuffs, foldable lapels and pouch side pockets. Seems perfect for those crisp Spring mornings. I also really liked the shorts in this collection, the shape of these in particular. I do not tend to wear above-the-knee shorts, so the length here seemed just right.

I thought the looks with these sheer pieces layered over the striped garments looked really interesting, especially in movement. You have the strength and firm solidity of those black and white stripes overlaid with the softness of a fluid, sashaying layer of sheer fabric. Really not a fan of the shoes though.

I rather hope there will be a shirt comparable to this one offered for men. The striped collar, the black breast pocket, the single black band on the left hand cuff, the stitched black buttonholes. A white shirt and black suit make an easy uniform, so it always nice to have an interesting option for the white shirt.

A damn cool suit. Loved the draped shoulders, the rolled up sleeves and trousers, the high waist, the dropped crotch, the pleats, the dual zipper and flap pockets. Not sure about the vivid orange they chose, but I am sure it would work equally well with something a little quieter.

Yohji Lite. I kid, I kid, but it was a nice and easy take on a more traditional Yohji look. I liked the styling with the cape-like cardigan, buttoned only at the top, falling away from the body, especially at the back. The only thing I wish they had changed would again be the shoes - Yohji and high heels are a bit of a dichotomy, but I suppose it sells more easily with heels.

Spring/Summer 2013



  1. I enjoyed to watch Y-3 runway video.Chic sport clothing. I like second photo and Yohji's photo.I feel without three stripes are much better.But many people are fond of three stripes on.

    I don't like heel and prominent branding and logos too.(That why I don't buy CdG's "Play" even though I love the design of mysterious eyes on the heart very much.)

    I wonder what kind of print this print maker made for Japanese royal family.

    I love to take a look of the site "Bookshelf Porn" .I sent this site to my book warm friend who gives me books whenever I saw her.