Mood board: How can a designer protect their legacy? Particularly one that has lasted more than 35 years. Yohji Yamamoto is in that hallowed position. Like Armani and Dries Van Noten he is independently owned and has already created a lasting aesthetic legacy that will outlive us all. For S/S 2018, the designer was thinking about reincarnation – the reincarnation of his brand by his younger staff when he goes away. If this sounds morbid then blame it on the Japanese proclivity for gloom. In his co-authored autobiography My Dear Bomb published in 2010, Yamamoto writes: ‘I exist here, now. I'm not much interested in the future. Or, more precisely put, I do not believe in the future. To exaggerate a little, I have no faith that I will still exist tomorrow or the day after. What is more, I absolutely detest retrospection.’ His collection for S/S 2018 felt like a rebooted version of himself; a retrograde retrospective if you will.
Best in show: Despite Yohji’s infamous penchant for black, the collection felt decorative and festive. Throughout, black was interrupted, slashed with colour either with slogan taping or graffiti appliqué. Standout were the etched velvet devore suits that had a distinctively romantic melancholy. The leather jackets in raspberry pink and cyan that opened the show were key too; in the traditional sense they were utterly unremarkable except for their pungent colour, yet each had a painting of the Japanese actress Eiko Koike on the back by artist Saitoh Yusuke. Koike will be the new face of the label’s upcoming catalogues, while the work of Vantan Design Institute graduate Yusuke is seen across advertisement, book covers and CD jackets.
Team work: Suzume Uchida, who paints self-portraits with a ghostly transparency, has collaborated on a number of specially commissioned works for S/S 2018. Her face is printed over long languid tunics, which are worn over trousers.