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Y3

Yohji Yamamoto at the Victoria and Albert

Yohji Yamamoto at the Victoria and Albert

Next spring the V&A will open the first UK solo exhibition celebrating the life and work of Yohji Yamamoto, one of the world’s most influential and enigmatic fashion designers. This installation-based retrospective, taking place 30 years after his Paris debut, will feature over 80 garments spanning Yamamoto’s career. The exhibition will explore the work of a designer who has challenged, provoked and inspired the fashion world.

Yamamoto’s visionary designs will be exhibited on mannequins amongst the treasures of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). Placed in hidden corners of the Museum, the silhouettes will create a direct dialogue between Yamamoto’s work and the different spaces in which they are displayed. Items will be found on the Leighton corridor, in the Norfolk House Music Room and looking out onto the John Madejski Garden from an alcove in the Hintze Sculpture Galleries. Other pieces will be sited on marble staircases, adjacent to Renaissance sculptures in the Renaissance City Gallery and within the Tapestry Gallery.

The exhibition will run from 12 March until 10 July 2011.

The exhibition will be designed by Yamamoto’s long-time collaborator, scenographer and lighting designer Masao Nihei. The main exhibition space will see over 60 garments from Yamamoto’s womenswear and menswear collections accompanied by a mixed-media timeline showing excerpts from his fashion shows, films and performances, graphic material and select photographs which will contextualise his career. Following Yamamoto’s previous solo exhibitions in Florence Correspondences (2005), Paris Juste des Vêtements (2005) and Antwerp Dream Shop (2006), this UK retrospective will exhibit items from his menswear collections for the first time.

Yohji Yamamoto was born in Tokyo in 1943 and studied at Keio University then Bunka Fashion College, by 1972 he set up his own company Y’s Incorporated. From the start of his career Yamamoto’s work was recognised for challenging the conventions of fashion.

The asymmetric cuts and seemingly unflattering curves of his early work contradicted the Photograph by Ronald Stoops close-fitted styles of the catwalks and he has refused traditional norms of fashion ever since.

Yamamoto’s designs have rewritten notions of beauty in fashion, and the playful androgyny of his work creates new modalities of gender identity. His collections are recognised for subverting gender stereotypes and have featured women wearing garments traditionally associated with menswear. Included in the exhibition will be menswear items from the Autumn/Winter 1998 season which was famously modelled on women.

Yamamoto’s fabrics are central to his design practise and are a trademark of his work. Supporting craftspeople in and around Kyoto, his textiles are created to specification often employing traditional Japanese dyeing and embroidery techniques such as Shibori and Yu-zen. The selection of works on show will give visitors the opportunity to study examples of Yamamoto’s application of traditional Japanese techniques.

Y3 Cannes Store

Y3 Cannes Store

Following its global retail concepts of minimalist black and white, Y3 opened its first pop-up store in Cannes, France. The temporary store is launched in collaboration with blanch and located at the new blanch Contemporary Space on Boulevard de la Croisette. The venue has a multifunctional structure and houses an innovative project which allows luxury brands to occupy the building from one to three months.

The retail space will present Y-3’s SS10 men’s and women’s collection including iconic footwear, travelwear, accessories range as well as signature apparel pieces from April 28th to June 29th, 2010.The Y-3 pop-up store features 200sqm one-level inner space is completed by a 100sqm private garden. This will be Y-3’s second stand-alone store in France, the first one opened in Paris on Rue Etienne-Marcel in August of 2007.

Y-3 Boutique Cannes

Y-3 Autumn/Winter 2010 at New York Fashion Week

Y-3 Autumn/Winter 2010 at New York Fashion Week

Y-3 Autumn/Winter 2010 at New York Fashion Week. Yamamoto turned out a dark collection of billowing tops, capes and bottoms that took his vision for Adidas to the next level. Infusing sportswear with a tongue-in-cheek formality, Yamamoto delivered a great variety of lively pieces that were not complete without his signature oversize fit.

Y3 Trainers A/W2010

Y-3 Trainers or Y3 Trainers

Y-3 Trainers or Y3 Trainers
So the question has been raised, should it be Y3 or Y-3. If there’s no hyphen there’s no bond!

The Y Stands for Yohji Yamamoto. The 3 represents Adidas’s three signature stripes and the – signifies the bond between the two.

While a utilitarian inspiration is evident throughout each collection, Y-3 possesses a technical feel on unexpected silhouettes to provide contemporary sportswear with a unique look. In 2009, Y-3 celebrated 60 years of iconic three stripes. This season, Yohji Yamamoto and adidas explore a more masculine approach to the themes of movement and expression. Inspired by uniform silhouettes, militarism and Japanese tailoring, this seasons aesthetic empathasizes precise proportions, fine details and the contrast of luxe winter fabrics with sport functional elements.