PARIS, France — In this season of fashion abstractions and impromptu forms, the work of Yohji Yamamoto — master of black and poetic deconstruction — is more relevant than it has been of late. Not that he ever went out of fashion: his status as a fashion inventor is divinely high — he truly defies the ebb and flow of time.
But, we all know how these things go in fashion-land. Once loved to death, Yohji had fallen from his privileged place in the hearts of the fashion crowd (save for a bunch of die-hard fans) for some time now. However, Mr Yamamoto is back with a vengeance and the crowd screaming and pushing outside the Hotel de Ville to get into today's show was definitive proof.
What did they see? Black from beginning to finish — with a slash of red; draped dresses and various attacks on the bustier and crinoline shapes. In other words, vintage Yohji, with a punkish spin. The best pieces came in the form of draped togas and tunics that had a wonderfully undone quality; coiling around the body with the kind of raw grace that only Yohji knows how to pull off. The panniers and the umbrellas were very familiar, yet still full of power. As the models strode slowly in flat boots inside the gilded salon, one was left with the reassuring certainty that black is eternal and deconstruction matters, toujours.