About a week ago our beloved capital was graced with a visit by legendary Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto. If you haven’t heard of him before (shame on you!) he is one of the most groundbreaking designers of our time and had a very strong impact on the aesthetic of avant-garde fashion as we know it today. He established his label over 30 years ago, has grown his brand into several sublabels and also raised the profile of quite a number of big commercial brands such as adidas (he designs the Y-3 line), Hermès and Madarina Duck with his design collaborations.
In Berlin he presented a magnificent retrospective fashion show that featured his designs from the last 32 years, he gave a talk at Soho house and revealed a visual dialogue with the art space MADE. I was lucky to be a guest at the first and third of these three special events and I am glad to have gotten such a close insight into the work and mind of this man who is so influential for this genre of fashion that I also dedicate a lot of my time and passion to in the last couple of years. Some thoughts and impressions from the Yamamoto events in Berlin after the jump.
The fashion show at the architecturally compelling St. Agnes church was staged in a very impressive and theatrical manner. I think the last time I saw such an exciting fashion show here in Berlin was by Iris van Herpen or Bernhard Willhelm several years ago. The visual dialogue at MADE space was a series of video interviews that show Yamamoto speaking about substantial matters such as love, life and art. He said some really beautifully poetic things, but also revealed a very dark, romantic view on the world with statements such as “if you truely love someone, you hurt them” or “an artist can never be truely happy because he always opposes to something in our society with his work”. As romantic as this sounds I’m glad I don’t share these views as I believe in love without hurt and art with happiness.
As thrilling as the visit of Yohji Yamamoto in Berlin was, it leaves me with mixed feelings. Mostly because it once again showed me a side of Germans that I don’t like. Germans will easily give a foreign designer an amount of admiration and praise that almost equals the worship of a god. But they have a hard time giving someone from their own ranks the support to ever reach that status.
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photos fashion show: iHeartBerlin, photos MADE event: Nils Krüger