Y-3 hits the road for Autumn/Winter 2011-12 with a collection inspired by the nature of escapeвЂ”on horseback, on foot, and into the hills. Fittingly, the show presented clothing designed for a journey, combining classic materials and silhouettes with futuristic and protective details like waterproof zippers, neoprene insets, holographic toggles, and ergonomic quilting. Shown in New York's Soho district on Sunday, February 13, 2011, as part of New York fashion week, the collection debuted on a set constructed to resemble a dusty trail, further underscoring the seasonвЂ™s back-to-nature message.
The collection explored variations on a theme of escape, and was inspired by books such as Jack KerouacвЂ™s On the Road and Jon KrakauerвЂ™s Into the Wild. This meant protection first and foremost, realized in exaggerated funnel-neck collars; simple modularity; voluminous, cocoon-like silhouettes; and intensive quilting on everything from hoods to coats to leggings. In classic Yohji Yamamoto fashion, prints and patches on select garments spelled out the collectionвЂ™s theme, stating phrases like вЂњNowhere in Particular,вЂќ вЂњHomeward Bound,вЂќ and вЂњIвЂ™m on the Road.вЂќ
Ultimately, the show was about the journey not the destination, and the clothing was designed with this in mind. The womenвЂ™s collection played greatly with volume and comfort, realized in hooded ponchos, elaborate cut-away dresses, wool puffer shrugs, pleated skirts with raw hems, and oversized wide-leg wool pantsвЂ”all shown in tones of black, olive drab, and red. Y-3 for men followed a similar trajectory, showing army parkas, striped union suits, quilted work jackets in suede and wool, and cotton leggings inset with panels of Fair Isle knits.
Y-3 presented two new breakthrough fabrics: Cool Max Wool, a breathable wool with an evaporative cooling system, and Diaplex, a wool herringbone bonded to Goretex that molds itself to the body, becoming like a second skin.
On the accessories front, Y-3 underscored the collectionвЂ™s themes of warmth and comfort, showing oversize hooded scarves, quilted nylon hats, and gloves belted with three pieces of leatherвЂ”a subtle play on the three-stripes tradition. Shoes for men and women combined the technical expertise of adidas with classical shapes and materials, like a Japanese warrior boot with a cutout sole for men, and an "origami" wedge heel for women.
"Traveling means coming back home," Yamamoto explained backstage of the show's inspiration. "We are always unconsciously wanting to come back. It is one of man's strongest desires."
Yoji Yamamoto is an internationally known Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris.