Yoji Yamamoto

Japanese designer will never get out of fashion, or so it seems.

Just look at what he says, how he thinks.

On living clothes,

Along the signature palette of blacks, the runway beamed with radiant yellow, red, blue and turquoise, while “real people”, cast in an open call the previous day, cut through the impressive, solemn architecture in wearable and somewhat less wearable creations. A play on the notion of a garment’s shelf life, the passing of seasons and with it, of trends, was commented to great effect by casting older women as well as young models. Yamamoto’s belief that one should “live” the clothes was beautifully and vividly demonstrated by a pair of voluminous Shepherd’s check numbers that were sent down the runway in sequence, one worn by a young model, and one by a silver-haired lady.

On creating

“Being a real creator is like climbing a mountain. You need training. Training, training, training… don’t design with your brain, design by your heart, your soul.”

On hands

For making a dress you have to use your fingers, your hands [holds hands up and moves fingers]. It’s very important because your hands are culture. Your soul comes out at the tips of your fingers. Fashion is the last business of craftsmanship. And this is going to disappear.

On when clothing becomes art

Ultimately, on the body. But Haute couture has disappeared; it’s the times of ready-to-wear. Everything is RTW. When in fact it [should be] a kind of love romance: you meet some fantastic clothing by chance, and you fall in love and you live this piece of clothing. You don’t waste clothing but live with it. Please, don’t waste clothing!

On being understood

I don’t care… I really don’t care. If I have 800 people in the audience, maybe five or six people understand. It’s okay, that’s enough.

On necklines

But take the design of a simple black T-shirt. This neckline [draws a line under his collarbone with his finger] is very difficult, because the black fabric against the skin… it’s creating a border. So if you don’t concentrate on drawing this line carefully, the T-shirt loses its own charm. A female designer’s T-shirt is always charming.



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