12/22/2008

Iconoclasts: Yohji Yamamoto Hates Fashion


Rummaging obsessively through the theoretically infinite internet occasionally yields a few treasures, sometimes finding an old high school rival's police reports, or stumbling onto an insightful quote from one of your favorite creators. Today it was the latter.

Apparently Yamamoto just makes clothes to help mature cultured women look really cool. Nothing wrong with that. I stumbled onto this great interview from several years ago with the elusive designer Yohji Yamamoto over at TheFashionSpot. Here are a few of my favorite parts.

How does you quest for freedom find expression in your work?

(Long break, he thinks). Ever since I began my career I have always questioned fashion, I could also put it that way: I hate fashion.

From the beginning until today?

Yes, I may be making fashion in the sense of craftmanship, but I hate the world of fashion.


Why do you hate it?

Fashion sighs after trends. I want timeless elegance. Fashion has no time. I do. I say.: Hello Lady, how can I help you? Fashion has no time to even ask such a question, because it is constantly concerned with finding out: What will come next? It is more about helping women to suffer less, to attain more freedom and independence.


I'll give you some terms and you tell me what you connect with them, OK? The first term is: minimalism.

Just another word for sloth.

German culture?

(Laughs). German culture?


The following on the beginnings of his partnership with Adidas...

I was given a guided tour through the (adidas) company archives, which has inspired me very much. I like old things. I was a beginner in the area of sports fashion, senakers, but one thing was clear to em from the beginning: the stuff out on the market is horrible. This can only get better. I paid a visit ot the Nike World Store in New York, stood before the shelves and had to scream, because I found everything so horrible. The shoes seemed like monsters to me - high-tech monsters.


The image of Yohji having a nervous fit in front of a wall of Nike's overdesigned sports shoes is priceless and one of the reasons I love fashion even if Yohji does not. Yamamoto is one of the greats. If you've ever worn his clothes, or known a Yohji addict you'll have experienced clothes which are strange yet sophisticated. Clothes that don't give a damn about fitting in. Yamamoto's clothes are stylish if sometimes anti-fashion. Be sure to read the rest of the interview as Yohji complains about logo-centric fashion, and ducks a probe into his short-lived musical career (which I had never heard of, the interviewer seemed to think it was good).

1 comment:

Lluviaschick said...

the I hate fashion stage is something every designer goes through (i think)...and i find it normal, until they can find their style they are lost, like everyone, but at the same time really surrounded by fashion.. which can be frustrating