Y-3 Spring 2013: The Past, Present & Future

NEW YORK, Sep 10, 2012/ — OMG, has it been 10 years? It seems like yesterday when I attended my first Y-3 show in Paris! That venue was smaller than St. John’s Center where the Y-3 10th Anniversary show was held.

And while artist Devan Harlan’s 3-D projections transformed the St. John’s Center space into a futuristic space, that long ago show in Paris was very old world, with the 20-foot wall adorned with vignettes that house one singer for the men’s choir that provided a cappella music.

This by the way was another contrast to yesterday’s show where models walked the runway to original music by Jiro Amimoto.

But, the 10th anniversary show was not a retrospective of the past. Rather, it is a look forward as Yohji Yamamoto blends past and future to create vivid and futuristic interpretations of its sport-style signatures.

Exploring the iconic elements of the label’s pioneering aesthetic: the acid-bright prints; the bold, voluminous silhouettes; the graphic three-stripe motif; and the influential breakthroughs in footwear and apparel, Yohji Yamamoto described it as an act of “walking backward into the future,” suggesting an unabashed embrace of all things Y-3.

To do that, Yohji Yamamoto once again collaborated with Mr. Hayashi, the imperial printmaker to the Japanese royal family, to once again produce eye-bending graphic prints. For those who remember, the now-iconic hibiscus print found in Y-3’s debut 2003 collection was designed by Hayashi.

This time, Hayashi produced three motifs—called “Feather,” “Water,” and “Thorn”—in brilliant hues of orange, blue, pink, and green. These prints swirled across everything from mesh parkas, baseball caps, and silk scarves to stretch tights, canvas totes, and ruffle gloves.

In similarly graphic fashion, Y-3 deployed the adidas three-stripe motif to dramatic effect: emblazoning it in varying widths on billowing coats, pleated skirts, and bold accessories.

Y-3 also channeled a classic sophistication, embodied for women in refined tennis dresses with pleated skirts, jersey shirts with tiered ruffles, and mesh swing dresses with asymmetric draw-cord details.

While volume was present, there was a feminine silhouette and a newfound focus on the waist. Whether it was a neat blazer in micro French terry, a cropped blouson jacket, or a short-sleeve trench-coat dress, these pieces embraced a womanly elegance.

The men’s collection also displayed a lightness and a lack of construction, presenting easy parkas, linen blazers, oversize shorts, and dress shirts inlaid with contrasting patterns of black and white.

[MARI DAVIS]

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Photos courtesy of Y-3

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