Yamamoto adds sexy touch to menswear

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The Independent Online
MENSWEAR fashion shows are rarely greeted with great enthusiasm, the wisdom being that a suit, is a suit, is, well, a suit.

But sitting in one of the stark galleries in the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, among a vortex of bright paintings by Sonia Delaunay, Yohji Yamamoto's spring/ summer 1995 collection managed to be both interesting and exciting. It was certainly far removed from the dull and conservative styling often associated with menswear.

This was a hot, slow, sweltering and sexy progression of ideas. Models, actors, and the dancer Gregory Hines, of The Cotton Club fame, paced the long gallery to drawling passages of Charles Bukowski, the American beat writer who died earlier this year.

With a degree of loucheness, breasts were bared, Neanderthal man stepped forth, his trousers flipped over at the waistband with trailing codpiece and protruding boxer shorts. But there was still the essential signature - sober jackets and pants, based on Yamamoto's native Japanese cutting. His more rigorous tailoring of high cut lapels on four-button jackets with tapered pants melted into fluid draped shapes, reminiscent of kimonos and flowing traditional robes.

A little less effective, in fact old hat, were the inside-out seams and fused interfacings although the tailored tacking stitches done as a detail on the turned up collars were amusing. However, it seems unlikely that these kind of Trixie details will fire the average British man's enthusiasm. A touch too flamboyant and quirky for our sartorial male, who is only just getting to grips with single-breasted rather than double-breasted jackets.

Anyone contemplating a Yamamoto will need vision, for his collection was inescapably distinguishing and modern, like the art on the walls.

(Photograph omitted)