For Autumn/Winter 2012, Y-3 treks through the steppes of Central Asia, blending tradition and modernity for a fusion of styles and shapes inspired by nomadic culture. Shown in New York’s Soho district on Sunday, February 12, 2012, as part of New York fashion week, Y-3’s collection took its audience on a wild and rugged journey from the future to the past, all in the essence of Yohji Yamamoto, the label’s designer. Y-3 explored the ways in which ancient nomadic tribes combine elements of traditional, ethnic dress with contemporary sport clothing—a look no doubt influenced by the presence of Western wanderers visiting the region. The result was an inspired take on winterwear, combining the futuristic sport style of adidas with a romantic vision: long, dramatic wool coats, sumptuous shearling jackets, nubby fleece knits, and fierce leopard prints. Models walked the runway to music from the Black Keys, Little Barrie, and the Derek Trucks Band while a front-row crowd of Idris Elba, Isabel Lucas, Anton Yelchin, Clemens Schick, Martina Codecasa, and Mary Charteris looked on. The collection found its origins in the idea of a nomadic existence and the very basic human need for protection, comfort, and beauty. To wit, the clothing emphasized texture, color, and silhouette, from chunky fleece knit sweaters and oversize plush shorts to bold tones of claret and jade to billowing capes, coats, and ponchos. As always, Y-3 placed an emphasis on modularity, featuring zippered lapels on jackets, removable felt collars and cuffs on shirts, and Velcro coat pockets that can be shifted around at will. Channeling a spiritual elegance, Y-3 deftly combined products of technology (like a breakthrough W-181 heat-trapping fabric once used by NASA) with the details of ethnic dress (like the vivid Ikat patterns running along the hem of a jacket). For women, this meant shawl-collar cardigan-robes with leopard collars; short and voluminous matelassé-quilted miniskirts; chic wool flannel jackets covered in a magnified animal print; long black parkas with waists tightly sculpted to resemble a corset; and vintage-inspired car coats inset with pieces of leather and ribbed knit. Many shirts, jackets, and sweaters featured elongated sleeves and rounded shoulders, emphasizing the dramatic draped silhouette. For men, Y-3 showed a series of sweeping black wool coats—again, a Yamamoto signature—trimmed in leopard-print faux ponyhair. Other men’s highlights included voluminous fisherman’s pants with a corseted lacing at the waist; twill suit jackets with built-in black leather vests; and, as in women’s, a series of deliciously sumptuous fleece jackets and shorts in black, white, and leopard-print trimmed in bright orange bungee cord. Y-3’s footwear built on the collection’s clash of modern and natural, offering sculpted booties draped in gray suede for women and tough-looking combat boots with built-in convertible suede legwarmers for men. And the classic adidas shell-toe shoe was adapted in a “flame” motif in a range of colorways for both women and men. “There is poetry and elegance to the way nomads dress,” Yamamoto said. “I want to capture that feeling and make it modern.” www.y-3.com
Notoriously private Japanese fashion design icon Yohji Yamamoto lets his guard down in an exclusive, intimate short documentary film about life and the creative process, from Tokyo to New York. Hailed as a genius, honored by entities from the French government to the CFDA, recognized internationally for his radical innovations and craftsmanship, Yamamoto is a visionary. Known for his mastery of sculptural forms, a penchant for androgyny and asymmetry, and an intellectual-yet-witty approach since he launched his first collection in Tokyo in 1977, Yamamoto has defined the avant-garde in fashion for decades. And yet, after more than 30 years on the world stage, he remains a mystery, cloaked by a careful division between his private life and his public craft. Opening up about his artistic motivations, his love of music, and his aesthetic vision, the documentary follows Yamamoto through the entire creative cycle of a collection for his revolutionary line in collaboration with adidas, Y-3. A perfect emblem of Yamamoto’s drive for innovation, the Y-3 label -one of eight distinctive lines the designer oversees- has created a new category in fashion since its introduction in 2002. Born out of a desire to merge Yamamoto’s craftsmanship with adidas’ technical prowess, Y-3 has come to be recognized as the future of sportswear, and it is the backdrop against which the film unfolds. The documentary tracks Yohji Yamamoto and the global team working on the collection, casting, styling, show production, PR and communication for a short period of time during the Summer and early Autumn of 2009. Beginning with the finalization of the collection and styling for the show in Tokyo, followed by his arrival in New York City to oversee the final touches for the presentation of Y-3’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, the documentary turns an intimate eye on Yamamoto during fittings, model castings, guitar-playing, philosophical musings, and interactions with his staff and the global team bringing his ideas to life.