2020-21AW Collection Review
Yohji Yamamoto 2020-21AW Collection
10/15/2020

YOHJI YAMAMOTO

This is a 2020-21AW (Autumn / Winter) collection review from the unique perspective of buyers at FAS-GROUP stores.

This time, we would like to share with you the findings of a FASCINATE buyer, Kobayashi, about Yohji Yamamoto's collection.

 


 

Kobayashi was promoted to FASCINATE's chief buyer as of this autumn and winter. He oversees the buying of brands handled by FASCINATE, including Yohji Yamamoto.

 


 

I felt like I had a glimpse of Yohji Yamamoto's punk aesthetic, not "harmony" but "conflict"

Yohji Yamamoto launches a collection with a strong theme every season, but the first thing that impressed me when I saw the 20-21AW collection was his style. It is heavily influenced by a kind of punk idea, about removing barriers between countries and cultures.

Compared to the last year's autumn / winter collection, the number of colored patterns has increased overall.

Moreover, it includes different ethnic patterns overlaid on top of each other, based on European tailoring styles, which is our specialty.

By combining and jumbling ethnic details and patterns with various cultural elements from all eras and countries, the work transcends all boundaries, such as borders, ethnic groups, and culture. This is intended to "fracture different cultures with other cultures," is styled to overturn existing concepts, which I found impressive.

I am also often strongly attracted to things that have two sides, not only clothes but also other things.
Regarding clothes, I love clothes that express a combination of conflicting things, such as classics from Eastern and Western culture. For example, it will help you understand if you imagine ZIGGY CHEN or JAN-JAN VAN ESSCHE handled by FASCINATE thinking.

While these two brands are designed with the idea of how to combine Western and Eastern ethnic details to make them look cohesive, this season's Yohji Yamamoto multicultural prints are layered over ethnic patterns that were not originally combined with one another, on top of tailor-based details.

Perhaps it is a feeling of destroying what I have created, and the multiple layers of prints do not coexist but crush one another, and I even feel roughness in the style.

I got the same impression from the style using a knitted pullover worn over the jacket.

In the 20SS season, the collection presented the look of wearing a T-shirt over a raincoat with a ridiculously wide amount of fabric.

There have always been a lot of creative and free-thinking looks, such as a look with a T-shirt over down outerwear in the 16-17 AW collection.

Of course, if I were asked whether I would wear a T-shirt over a down jacket, my answer would be "never"

This can be a message that tells you there is no right answer to fashion, and you should enjoy yourself as you like.


It is not just a combination of patterns. You should also pay attention to the change in the color palette!

Character prints that have often been seen in the collections of the last 3-4 seasons, especially ones  with strong messages written in english, are rarely developed, and many of them have layered patterns that make you feel the ethnic and cultural elements of various countries, such as ethnic patterns that are used for plaids, Persian rugs and Kuzushi-ji, which is a character painted in Ukiyo-e. Furthermore, it is impressive to use an astringent earth tone as an accentuating color.

The foundation color is still based on the color "black", but this season is rare in that the seasons autumn and winter tend to be biased toward dark colors, and the color palettes close to light earthen colors, such as light gray and ecru. As my mood regarding colors gradually shifted from black, I could begin to understand Yohji’s expression using trendy colors, based on black, from the ethnic patterns with many earthen colors to tweed fabrics based on light gray.

The combination of different cultural elements is strongly reflected in all the materials, fabrics, and color palettes. The cultural elements of each pattern and the accompanying expressions and colors of the fabrics are unlike previous Yohji Yamamoto collections and look fresh. I really liked the atmosphere the collection exudes in consequence.


My personal favorite is "LOOK05"

LOOK05's styling is my favorite look this season.

This look is based on Yohji Yamamoto's iconic wool gabardine, with a beige and gray-based light plaid tweed jacket that is asymmetrically cut with different sized patterns on the left and right, partnered with beige plaid tweed wrap pants. They were coordinated as a complete outfit, a well-balanced design that adopted a coloring that retains the essence of both Yohji Yamamoto in the past and the new season.

I had thought that tweed fabric with a soft atmosphere could only be grounded when worn by a sharp cutting-edge person, but reducing the amount of tweed by pairing it with gabardine, making the length uneven and asymmetrical, and stacking different materials, it is sublimated into dynamic clothes that are easy for young people to understand, thus showing the high level of Yohji Yamamoto's design technique.

You can also feel the likelihood wearing this garment it for a long time, because you can change it according to the styling and the season, while still firmly grasping the seasonality of 20-21AW, such as the coloring and material usage, including the trends this season. Moreover, it is reversible, so if you turn it over, it changes into a chic jacket showing mainly gabardine. I was extremely impressed.


The keyword is "addition"
The main works are ones that you can changes expression of by putting on and taking off the details.

Another thing that I felt when I saw this collection was that the details of each piece of clothing were more elaborate than ever, and I felt the thickness and depth of the components of the clothes.

Structural depth may be a more correct word than design, but I got the impression that it was built into the clothes as part of the design.

When I talked to Mr. Narumi, who is always in charge of the Paris exhibition, I found out that there was a secret involved in the process of creating this collection.

This is a story that leads to design and stylistic expression. I heard that clothes were made based on design drawings in the collections before 20SS, but in this season, base plain clothes were made at first, then they were produced in the manner of "addition", in which various details were added to the base clothes.

Many works with asymmetrical designs and complicated details have been developed for a long time, but many of them basically focus on changing the length or the silhouette by attaching and detaching parts and buttons. Therefore, the main works were enjoyed changes with gimmicks.

However, in this season, the details are structured like multiple layers. For example, even if you take down one part, there are different details underneath, and if you keep taking down, it will eventually become a simple item. It has a structure that is “subtracted” to the prototype shape as it is taken down.

By freely adding details to the base materials, patterns, and colors, the expression of various cultures and concepts was complemented and added to create a well-balanced work.

I thought that the thickness and depth of the work which I had felt was partly due to the process of creating one work with two vectors, the material for expressing the theme and the production method.


Details reminiscent of Yohji Yamamoto's idea of "Wear it roughly"

Typical works produced by this "addition" are a coat with a huge inner pocket that can hold magazines and newspapers, a tailored jacket with a strong crafted armband, and a single trench that layers the front body of a double trench on top, and a series with tons of zippers and chains hanging around.

Among them, the inner pocket, which is huge enough to hold a magazine, was a detail that reminds me of the memories of my clothes.

I think I was about 19 years old.

I went to a vocational school after graduating from high school,Iand was thinking about fashion all the time.

An oversized long Chesterfield coat was sold in a shop that I often visited at that time.

I could not buy it at that time, but the Chesterfield coat looked incredibly attractive.

There is a huge inner pocket inside the coat, and when I was wondering about it, the staff told me, "It's a pocket for newspapers."

It's a detail that I wouldn't use when asked if I actually used it, but when I saw the astringent Chesterfield coat with a large inner pocket, I remember something like a male figure came to my mind somehow.

In the streets of Europe, the man with gray hair and a lazy atmosphere in his 60s wears an old shabby coat and drinks warm coffee while smoking on the terrace of the cafe.

A man opens his coat and takes out a newspaper from his inner pocket.

At that time, even though I was full of clothes in my head, it did not mean I have much knowledge.

However, I think that the things, stories, and impressions that I felt from the design were strong.

This coat was another brand, but when I recall this memory, I think there should be something like the male image of the brand Yohji Yamamoto presents. This idea suddenly came up with my mind.

The idea is that fashion is for women, and men's clothing is something that complements women, and men are not too particular about it, and wear it roughly.

Clothes are one of the pieces that shapes the wearer's character.

As the design changes year by year, the details reminded me of the underlying image of the brand Yohji Yamamoto, which made me feel attractive.


"Tuxedo Park", where you can see questions with depth and irony

The item that impressed me was the doctor coat with the words "TUXEDO PARK" and the non-smoking mark printed.

This item was also used on the runway, so I think many of you still remember the back view.

This "TUXEDO PARK" is the place in New York, USA, where the smoking jacket, the origin of the tuxedo, was born. The place is where the tuxedo was derived, so to speak.

It is said that Pierre Lorillado, who made a fortune in the tobacco business, acquired the land tenure where the mine was in 1735 and opened the tuxedo park, which was a hunting place.

The smoking jacket, which later became the prototype of the tuxedo, was originally designed for smoking in this place.

If you are in your mid-thirties or older, you are probably familiar with it because it was a masterpiece at Dior Homme, led by Hedi Slimane, who was eccentric and explosively popular at the time.

Although Tuxedo Park is a place that was established due to the presence of cigarettes, it is a combination of conflicting things that the smoking cessation mark is printed.

Moreover, Yohji Yamamoto is a crunchy smoker.

Yohji Yamamoto's ironic playfulness is revealed in the stylish design that only those who know the essence can understand.

Tobacco, which triggered the birth of clothes with a strong cultural style called a tuxedo jacket, has been denied as being just harmful in modern times, but "Without the culture of tobacco that is considered just harmful and denied, some clothes wouldn't have been born.

“Shouldn’t we just think about the essence once, not just regard what is considered evil as evil?" I interpreted this message like this.


Silhouettes and material usage that have changed with the times.

Not limited to Yohji Yamamoto, it can also be said for the entire 20-21AW Paris Fashion Week, all brands have light colors, such as gray and earth tones as I wrote earlier. I also personally ordered only earthen color items.

Yohji Yamamoto still meets our expectation and black is still the main color, but the color palette used for the tweed fabric series and print patterns has pale colors, such as earth tones, gray, and beige. While the brand image is kept, it also adopts the trend colors.

This autumn / winter collection is also based on works that fully express Yohji Yamamoto's "masculinity" including details, such as work look and military, and the details accompanying it.

The main materials used in the fall / winter season have been the familiar wool gabardine and fabrics, like flannel and melton,  with a heavy and flat look that emphasize the black image, and  prints and embroidery were added on them. The basic composition was a lineup that included items with the above, but in this collection, the new fabric usage that I have not seen much before was adopted. For example, we used plenty of powerful items, such as large plaids and tweed fabrics with a strong nep feeling, or different fabrics were used for the front and back sides. 

However, the variety of and combinations of materials, such as making with different fabrics, has increased compared to previous collections.

The detail design of each part hasn't changed much from last year and I did not feel much from the details in terms of freshness, but I could see some trendiness through the things like the length and silhouette of the pants and the shoulder circumference of the outerwear.

For example, there used to be a lot of pants with cropped length until last year, but ones with full-length that the hem touches the shoes are often seen this year. Moreover, the shoulder width of the jacket is a little narrower than the previous collection that was set to drop shoulders. It feels like it is set to just the right position.

Originally, the brand has created a style called "Yohji Yamamoto" with anti-trend and anti-fashion as the spirit of the brand, so we have made some changes according to the times without changing the stance of expression and style.

The overall silhouette has changed from the anomalous silhouette of the 20SS collection.

One of the features of last season was the shoulders that were set narrower than usual, and the silhouette that was finished in a flared one from the width of the body toward the hem, but it was changed to a silhouette that draws a beautiful vertical line, which falls vertically from there while keeping the clean feeling around the shoulders.

I often felt that it was difficult to combine with items from past seasons because the silhouette was irregular in the 20SS collection, so I think this season should be preferable for those who have been buying Yohji Yamamoto for a long time because it is easier to match with existing items.


I would like to propose a style that can be worn realistically while showing the characteristics of the season.

Yohji Yamamoto is the most orthodox ready-to-wear brand among our brands, and it is also a brand that strongly changes the direction of customer's styling according to the look on the runway.

For example, in the 19-20AW season, it presented a style that looks beautiful especially when with simple dressing centered on a manly outer style, which is rare for the brand that specializes in a wide range of layered styles. In the 20SS season, it also presented the style that adopted short knee-length shorts and a slightly feminine curve gently spreading from the waist to the hem. Those above became the topic of the season.

In that sense, it was difficult to find which one is the "main look" this season, but in the sense that it is an item that has a strong element of the “addition” clothing making, which is a feature of this season, we mainly ordered outer items with layered detail designs.

However, we decided that tweed fabrics items, such as all-in-one and coats were too heavy and unrealistic to wear as everyday wear, we selected gabardine, the standard fabric, and consciously selected items that we can enjoy the uniqueness of this season only in detail.


Items with layered and reversible details are recommended this season!

Speaking of specific product composition, there are many works that arrive with the B delivery date (the delivery date corresponding to the second delivery season after the season starts) and show the characteristics of the season well, so We have selected a large number of works so that multiple looks can be completed within the works with this delivery date.

In particular, there were many works with the details that would probably make you feel this, so the styling I would like to propose this season is also assembled based on the works that arrive on this delivery date.

Items used on the runway based on this are often developed in the latter half of the season, so I order items with a composition that can add flavors on the styling. Firstly, assemble the base style with clothes with the B delivery date, and then set the main work with strong seasonality that will arrive later.

Based on this season's runway look, I bought the reversible jacket and wrap pants setup at LOOK5, which I personally mentioned as my favorite LOOK.

The jacket with this look, which has different lengths and patterns on the left and right, is reversible due to the back-style front and front-style back.

It is a reversible item that is not so rare in Yohji Yamamoto, but it is easy to style with the items that have been developed so far because it is switched with wrinkle gabardine while using tweed fabric with a pattern. I think it is an item that you can enjoy the atmosphere unique to this season.

In addition, many other reversible items have been developed for D delivery date items, and although they were not used on the runway, a reprint of the 3-layer cut-off design series developed in the 15AW season has also been developed. The Dr. Marten collaboration boots, which are characterized by twisted shoelaces, are also a high-profile item.


Please coordinate the featured sneakers on your feet.

This season was a particularly good one for sneakers, so I ordered more sneakers than in other recent seasons.

In addition to the collaboration sneakers with the brand "X VESSEL" by Taiwanese actor and singer Vanness Wu, which has been developed at Yohji Yamamoto Noir since the last season, we have selected middle-cut sneakers based on Adidas' masterpiece sneaker "Super Star" in two colors.

The collaboration sneakers with "XVESSEL" is a work that expresses the element of "deconstruction" in the layer sole that combine the disassembled parts, and it is a pair that can uniquely and easily color the feet of Yohji Yamamoto's style that tends to be covered with a large outerwear that is inevitably loose.

The weight of the design goes to the sole, and the design of the sole itself is strong, so I think it is a perfect item for this season when you feel like full-length pants.

The Super Star middle-cut model, the Adidas collaboration sneakers which is based on the Pro Model in a strict sense, has a simple shape that is not very different from the prototype among the collaboration models ever, and the perforation (vent) is designed in the shape of Yohji Yamamoto's signature.

There are two colors available: white soles with a black upper which is a royal sneaker color scheme, and black sole with a white upper, which is the opposite color scheme.

Sneakers with tight ankles and voluminous soles are easy to adopt into any styles and pants and are a great pair for those who have trouble styling their feet.


Finally.

When I asked the staff about the theme of this season's collection, he said, "There is no one specific theme just as collections presented in the past seasons, and the collection is composed by combining multiple themes."

In this season, when the collection is produced in the manner of “addition”, there were many items that give a fresh impression due to the conspicuous details and internal elaboration different from the past, but if we assume that they will actually be worn in the city, "wearing the look style as it is" is not very realistic in terms of weight.

Therefore, to be honest, it was difficult to choose items that can be worn realistically while being conscious of "this season's uniqueness" and well-balanced ones that are conscious of realistic prices.

Yohji Yamamoto is a brand that has slightly high prices and seems unapproachable on your first time, but for those people, the works that has identity of Yohji Yamamoto with relatively low prices are also incorporated into our orders.

Yohji Yamamoto's underlying style and philosophy are consistent, so the style suggestion does not change that dramatically. However, one of the ways to enjoy it is to delve into the brand "Yohji Yamamoto" by adding the items to the wardrobe little by little with each season.

That is because it keeps making items with a stable attitude, and I think it is one of the few brands that can do that.

At the same time, it is also a conceptual brand that strongly emphasizes the theme of the season, so it is also a brand that attracts a lot of attention for the latest works.

Among those who like Yohji Yamamoto, some are paying attention to the latest collection while others like classic works. Therefore, we assemble the overall composition by conveying the world view of the latest collection based on multiple aspects, such as what learned from listening to customers’ needs or talking to them at the store, while considering the affinity with the previous season and the styling we want to propose.

Since there are many directly managed stores in Japan, we are inferior to them in terms of product lineup. However, since we are a select shop, we buy items after we look into a wide range of clothes including other brands in the same season and accumulate the information we see.

Therefore, we passed the items through a filter called FASCINATE once and selected each after sieving whether it is an item that is difficult to wear.

Due to the influence of the coronavirus, some items have been delayed for delivery, and the arrival status is still in the middle of the season, so please look forward to future developments.


2020-21AW Collection