Go West! Yohji does Americana and surburbia but with a dark Japanese soulfulness as a point of departure.
It was a meeting between the Master and the Boss on Thursday evening in Paris as Yohji Yamamoto dedicated his entire soundtrack to Bruce Springsteen. Few phenomena in the world are as innately American as the heartland rocker of them all, and his rootsy voice soon established a spirit of Americana to the collection. That is, of course, all relative when it comes to Master Yohji, who had the words ‘Made in Japan’ drawn over garments throughout the show. But there was a kind of South State-y goth blues vibe to the designer’s bearded, long-haired gypsy men in wildly proportioned tailoring or denim-on-denim-on-denim-on-denim, which couldn’t be denied.
Attached to the backs of jackets, ‘missing pet’ loss ads hinted at an idea of a kind of American suburbia. They included one with Yamamoto’s face on it, which could just as easily have been a ‘wanted poster’, cementing the prairie vibe of the collection. It was a muted, much more formal departure from last season’s urban vibrancy, but Yamamoto couldn’t have done Americana any other way. This was the heart of Midwest America, interpreted through a kind of dark Japanese soulful point of departure, which wasn’t about to abuse the clichés of the Land of the Free. It was social realistic America, the way the Boss always sang about it.