Yamamoto skirt inspiration

posted in: Designing, Inspiration | 11

Here are some ideas for draping an interesting skirt on the stand, by Japanese designer Yamamoto. Although mainly black which, to some extent, makes it hard to see how the shaping is achieved, these are wonderful garments. They challenge our idea of skirt (many of his skirts are for men), and play with texture, proportion, silhouette, asymmetry and two or more fabrics.

Although it is possible to use draping on the stand to create the traditional European skirts – straight, A line, flared, gored – I want to see if I can come up with some shapes which are less predictable.

Many of his skirts are wearable and delicious. I have already outlined some of my draping ideas, but these shapes raise another question. Is it possible to come to this job with an open mind, and just see where the fabric will take me?

11 Responses

  1. I love various unexpected asymmetric styles particularly in a striped menswear fabric or a tartan.

  2. I love using peg top styles with fabric that has some body to it. You can create fabulous sculptural shapes. It is very good with trousers because the centre seam means there is not so much strain.

    • The project at my class next week is a peg skirt. I have some heavy brown coating that I am thinking of using to get a very sculptural shape.

  3. I find it difficult to have that open mind you refer to. I’ve been looking at transformational reconstruction (Shingo Sato) and find it truly fascinating but still wonder why! We’re going to be working too from some of the Japanese pattern books. My problem, I think, is that I came to sewing to sew for myself (selfish, I know!), to learn the correct way to carry out techniques, and these garments don’t fit into my style. There are some I like and some that I would make for my daughters. Although I have broadened my scope with the pattern cutting course, it’s still very limited. I enjoy the concept, certainly and love the course. Good luck with your explorations.

  4. I’m particularly taken with the tweed mini with the two buttons. This is possibly the most conventional which obviously says something about me! Good luck with your creations.

  5. My favourites are the last three in the small illustrations, of which the final two would probably be most practical or wearable for me. I’m sure you will come up with something ‘less predictable’ than variations on the classic – are you looking to end up with something you can fit into your wardrobe, or treating it as a design experiment?

  6. Yes! Play! Open mind! That’s the beauty of being both designer and constructor!
    Especially if you have a sort of normal looking base layer to build onto —like how that blue pleated skirt is pretty normal, with unusual striped over-skirt swooped off to the side— might help keep it fun and not just chaotic and overwhelming.
    My fave is that second one, the apron style dress in black.

  7. The tweed one is nice and it seems to be the only one that has any fit and shape to flatter. It is all well and good to wrap fabric around a body or mannequin and do clever pleats and such but does it say anything about the wearer other than, “Look at my big hips/butt”? I find most of these very shapeless and awkward…sorry…my mind will not climb that mountain. It will be fun to see where your creativity leads you this time…I’m excited for you, Kate.

  8. I think all of these are unbelievably cool. Love them. (except that tweedy thing) Can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  9. Stephanie

    I like these a lot, K., and I appreciate the architectural thinking behind them. My favourite look is the one with the white tank top and I actually quite like the one in the top row, belted/self-buckled, far right.

    I suppose I fall somewhat into the camp of the others, in that I have sometimes ventured out on a limb with fuller shapes and more unusual construction (purchased in the case of bottoms or shoes, made by me in the case of jumpers) and the reality is that I didn’t wear the items, even though I appreciated them. I think I’d feel that way about these skirts – just too much fabric swaddling the hips/waist, etc. for mobility, comfort, flexibility of matching with tops/shoes, etc. Getting the proportions right in an outfit (and not getting caught in a life-threatening way on a subway turnstile or in an escalator) takes great effort with these sorts of garments and is perhaps beyond my capacity!

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