Voulez-vous coucher avec Yohji Yamamoto by Lily Templeton

"Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?" flashed on the back of a souvenir coat at Yohji Yamamoto, but sounded more like a plea than a rascally come-on. Confronting his cast of characters who wore their history on their faces and bodies with the languid, rather than overly macho, sentiment that came off the runway, you could make a case for being a fighter of love rather than a lover of the fight. 
And there was a lot to love today. Long shirts, safari jackets, workwear revisited in lush linens, a certain emphasis on zips, straps holding sleeves and pulling jackets shut, toothsome cropped trousers, there was a lot to appeal on the racks. Pockets peppered everywhere evoked military garb. Just a little bit broken, patched up in haste with strapping around limbs and heads, these men embodied facets of their creator, whose raspy, strangely seductive voice swirled on the soundtrack. 
Despite being intensely Yohji and therefore outside the realm of trends, there was something about the slightly oversize proportions, the length of trousers cropped so, the loose layers that worked together that hinted that if the Japanese designer doesn't keep his finger on the pulse of what's happening elsewhere, he's still in tune with the times. 
There was something intensely anti-establishment in this spring collection, that demonstrated that although Yohji has been around the block a few times, he is still full of beans. From the front, there seemed to be the same emphasis on product as could be found on many other runways this season. But this is Yohji. On the back, sketches and messages were scribbled and sharpied, with habitual cheekiness. Just as he was refractive to proper suits in the beginning, he's bucking expectations continuously. After all, he's "for hire" said a painted back, just as he'd been for sale seasons earlier. But there isn't a soul brave enough to pay the price (save perhaps for perennial partner Adidas at Y-3).
For the finale, the models came back with linings on display, ready for another round in the arena. Wait until dark intimated the very last one. That's one date we're dying to keep.
Runway photography: Monica Feudi
Backstage and cover image: Elise To

Lily Templeton

Writer, journalist, storyteller, editor - Based in Paris - Typing up a storm on real and virtual keyboards, thanks to a curiosity like a small gauge sieve, exploring the world of creation one question at the time.