PARIS, France — Attending a Yohji Yamoto show is a slightly surreal experience.
The Japanese maestro is a consistent creator: his love for black is enduring; his way with deconstruction is seemingly endless; his proclivity for vertical, sculptural shapes is adamant.
As a result, it's quite difficult to tell one collection from another, as the action on the catwalk can get a bit formulaic. The flood of black, in fact, is regularly lit by sudden dashes of red and hints of white. A sense of deja-vu ensues.
Yet, once you have digested and processed it all, you start noticing the little differences, the progresses and the retours. It happened again today. Yamamoto took over the rather grand spaces of the Salon d'honneur in the Grand Palais, and Yohji-fied them with scaffolding and black carpeting.
Clothes-wise, shapes were fluid, with frayed edges and cutaways giving glimpses of the body. This, for instance, was a welcome frisson of sensuality. The show progressed from strictness and rigour to artistic chaos, edging with crafty, handpainted gowns that looked like coats draped around the body in some impromptu way. Those felt lively, and took away the deja-vu feel.