THE THEME Regular Yohji Yamamoto show-goers know what they’re going to get from the Japanese designer: an evening time slot on the Paris calendar at the Hotel de Ville with a show in the same ballroom underneath gilded ceilings and chandeliers as well as a long raised white runway where models would walk at a glacial pace. Oh and always all-black. The pioneering designer once again did not stray away from this formula (and really, he has nothing else to prove at this point, so why should he?) when presenting his Spring 2024 collection. Irina Shayk wouldn’t normally be considered a Yohji girl but she was there she was on the runway in a black deconstructed number with strips of black fabric dangling from the sheer look. (Then again she did wear an archive Yohji look to this year’s Met Gala so it seems she’s grown more fond of the brand lately). The Proenza Schouler designers were seated front row and greeted the designer backstage after. The tension between sheer and opaque was at play here with the juxtaposition of lace and bulky accoutrements. There were also nicely tailored jackets with peak shoulders and ivory sleeves, heart-shaped chain belts, cropped vests, and waists that seemed to be cinched even more than usual this season.
THE BUZZWORDS Haunting. Romantic. Eerie.
Look # 35 The downside to a collection so cohesive is that the looks rarely look distinguished enough from one another, but luckily this version of a skirt suit was one of the few to warrant a closer look thank to the lightness of the double-breasted jacket with sheer sleeves and waist panels and what look like white painterly polka-dots on the bust. Paired with the simple diaphanous skirt it kept a strong sense of femininity and practicality in an otherwise abstract collection.
THE ON-BRAND FACTOR
THE BRAND EVOLUTION
Always on brand
Not much in the way of novelty
THE WRAP UP
There wasn’t much to unpack or pick apart in this collection, but maybe that’s the point. While fresh ideas are always welcome from a designer whose identity and vision is so unwavering, there’s not a lot of point in deciphering what he could do next. What is commendable is his continued experimentation with fabric manipulation where it’s not just a black dress but something more. We saw a lot of that day, even if we knew that’s what we were getting. A front row of Asian influencers in the designer’s wares looked like they just came straight from the chicest funeral in Tokyo. And when has dark romance ever gone out of style?