I went to V&A this afternoon and finally got myself to see Yohji Yamamoto’s Exhibition. It was worth every minute off bed on a sunday afternoon. 😉
The exhibition itself highlights the key points of Yamamoto’s career, spanning almost 40 years. It is situated in one large room – white-washed walls with exposed scaffolding in the roof – perfectly designed to showcase the true essence of Yamamoto’s work, that of exposure and minimalism: let the work speak for itself.
The space is vaguely separated into the main fractions that make up the Yamamoto brand: video footage of various shows, catalogues of important campaigns, quotations, literature, and the clothes. Upon entering the room you pause to take in the layout and decide whether you want to explore the clothes first or the meaning behind the clothing. The exhibition guide had details of every garment exhibited and the fabrics used.
I decided to take my right and work through the videos, catalogues and shows on the walls. It begins with a few main quotations summarising the concept behind the designs and works chronologically through some of Yamamoto’s early and important collections.
A video footage had his interview in which he said, ” I never say I’m a fashion designer, I think I’m a dressmaker.” This was the best quote that i could relate to. I simply loved it.
Also a tutor of Yohji’s said in a footage that, he said that he hates the colour White because it showcases a lot of Emptiness whereas his love for Black is purely because black is a mix of all Colours. !!! 🙂
The early shows and catalogues of Yohji Yamamoto feature some of the leading names in fashion photography, including Max Vadukul, Paolo Roversi and Nick Knight. These catalogues are booklets of pure imagery, an art form in themselves. The visual language is pure and clean – these are the images that make a brand, these are the images that remain long after fashion week is over. The narrative to each shoot clearly expresses what each collection is about and essentially lets us understand a bit more about what goes on inside the designer’s head.
One of my favourite images comes from one of the earlier collections in 1986 (see above right) – it is so pure and minimal in its form yet clearly expresses what the collection is about.
On getting completely blown by Yohji, I went to the V&A shop and I bought his biography ‘My Dear Bomb’ which I’ve been reading snippets from and finding extremely interesting. 😀 it had other cute Yohji merchandise like the Big Yohji Safety Pin, to Yohji T-shirts and bags and Tote Bag and postcards and blaahhh !!! 😀
There is another Yohji exhibition happening over London : Yohji’s Women at the Wapping Bank Project which I might check out soon !