Y-3 is on the run from the gloom and doom of the world. Armed with tongue-in-cheek humor, splashes of bright color, and intriguing aesthetic contrasts, the label's Autumn/Winter 2010-11 collection brought a healthy dose of fun back to the runway. Presented on Sunday, February 14th, as part of New York fashion week, the show sought an escapist route to the future of sport style.
Y-3 has always melded technology with tradition, and never has that been more apparent. For Autumn, the label known for sport elegance took inspiration from bespoke English tailoring, reinterpreting classic shapes in futuristic materials, or alternately, classic materials in futuristic shapes. The result was a kinetic and thoroughly modern take on sportswear, on view for guests such as Ciara, Justin Theroux, Alison Brie, Terry Richardson, and Tallulah Harlech. The collection, presented for the second season at the Park Avenue Armory, also captured a playful mood with an industrial laser light show by the British art collective UVA.
This season, Yohji Yamamoto injected Y-3 with as much humor as style, presenting an ode to masked superheroes like Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel. Wearing voluminous, layered sportswear in vibrant colorways, the models stalked the runway to the folk tunes of Simon & Garfunkel.
The collection also found inspiration in traditional military garb and deconstructed it in modern ways. Classic A-1 flight jackets unravelled into long sweeping capes, for instance. Elsewhere, cashmere tracksuits combined utility with luxury, sweater jackets explored modularity with removeable shawls and scarves, and oversized jumpsuits emphasized the free-spirited mood. Wool sweaters and cardigans were embroidered with kitten patches and slogans like "I'm thinking prison break" and "World is not fair," underscoring a humor and insouciance that was signature Yamamoto.
"Recently the trend has been for tighter and shorter and sexier clothes," explained the designer. "I wanted to wrap the body again, and not show too much."
Y-3 also took footwear way beyond the classic trainer, presenting sporty mesh heels, metallic silver wedges, and multicolored winklepickers for women, and fluorescent neon basketball shoes for men.
The show closed with a bang and the superhero theme came full circle as Mr. Yamamoto and a masked male model duked it out in front of the audience. Yamamoto emerged as the winner after the hardcore scuffle. That is, until tough-as-nails supermodel Freja Beha knocked the designer back down to the ground.
"I've done this job for 28 years and sometimes I feel like I've done everything," explained Mr. Yamamoto backstage. "This time I said to myself, Yohji, you must have fun!"