Yohji Yamamoto

V and A Yamamoto
V&A exhibition

Three years ago I went to see an amazing exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, featuring the works of Yohji Yamamoto, who I had never heard of before. We were lucky enough to see one of the catwalk shows on very uncomfortable benches. I found the exhibition itself stunning and challenging,  but at the time I was not sewing so I just enjoyed gazing. Of course I wanted to lift up the garments and have a good look inside, but that was forbidden. The V&A has some useful information if you want to read more about this designer.

Yohji Yamamoto exhibition at the V&A
Yohji Yamamoto exhibition at the V&A

Here are a few Yamamoto items that are bound to impress. This man is so creative and I feel he creates attractive wearable clothes too.

Recently my friend Galina said she was working on a jacket, inspired by a Yamamoto suit. She sent me a photogaph of her work so far. The jacket appeared to be amazingly complex, and I was very intrigued to see how it was made. I have a love of clever cutting; if it is also flattering to the female (or male) form I am smitten. This jacket certainly meets the clever and beautiful criteria.

Yamamoto jacket copy
Copy of Yamamoto jacket

I made the long trek to her studio in Greenwich to get a better look. We drank delicious tea (www.basilurtea.co.uk), ate home made walnut cake, and I admired Galina’s new shoes (www.etsy.com/uk/shop/kilms).  Galina took me through her thought process, starting with a photograph, then researching it, then tentatively trying out a scale model in paper, and then, by hand with (deliberately?) mismatched cotton, hand back-stitching the  quarter-scale  jacket. And here it is! When this happens – the eureka moment – a three-dimensional garment arises from the fabric. Now the pattern cutter is elated. She has created something novel – based on the kimono; simple but complex, full of life and movement.

small scale model of jacket
The little jacket

We talked some more and agreed terms for the construction of a suit in some lovely fabric. How exciting for me to commission her to make me an outfit. She chose the fabric and lining and I was thrilled. I also went away with the pattern so I can make a jacket for myself, in due course. Right now I have ten or eleven garments to make for the SWAP challenge. But after that (or maybe during) I will locate some suitable fabric – probably with a distinctive weave or stripe – and have a go at this jacket myself. I hope to see Galina for a fitting, and a sad goodbye as she returns to Riga, in the early new year.

In the meantime if you want to try making a Yamamoto design there is a free pattern. Here is the web address: http://showstudio.com/project/design_download_yohji_yamamoto

I hope this works – if not search Yamamoto free pattern on google.






10 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    The jacket is awe-inspiring, Galina. I love the blending of the lines and angles of the herringbone with the soft folds around the collar. It is already evident how flattering the jacket will be. You are an artist!

  2. Galina

    Thank you for posting this, Kate and thank you Stephanie for the nice comment. This is my first draping project, and it has made me aware of the intriguing interplay of grain and gravity happening in a garment. This pattern has a lot of potential and I can envisage many re-incarnations of it in different fabrics. Happy sewing, Kate!

  3. catherinedaze

    I loved that exhibition – saw it twice! I know what you mean about wanting to see the insides. I laid on the floor to get a view of the boning inside one very structured skirt.

    Galina’s jacket is a lovely shape.

  4. symondezyn

    I love Yamamoto – so architectural and yet the fabrics remain sumptuous and touchable – perfect balance 🙂 Galina’s jacket is a beautifully inspired piece. What a wonderful opportunity to commission a perfect garment just for you – lovely!! Can’t wait to see the final! May I ask how much time do you give yourself, for the SWAP 10-11 garments?

    • fabrickated

      SWAP sewing starts on Boxing Day. I have made one item already and have one RTW item. So I only have to sew nine items in four months; about one a fortnight – not too bad. Are you going to do it this year Symondezyn? It is good fun and does force you to think about what you actually want to wear.

      • symondezyn

        I always have a plan haha (somewhat evolving) – but the trouble is, I tend to be a little overzealous in estimating how fast I can sew LOL. What with fitting/muslin-ing/etc. and weeding out duds, I’m probably not quite yet at a stage in my sewing where I can fully commit to something like that but I am definitely working towards it!! 🙂 I am aiming to make 4-6 wearable garments in about that amount of time, but that’s more of a personal goal ^__^ I’ll follow along with you on your journey though! 🙂

  5. Brenda Marks

    Having someone make a jacket for you is such a wonderful experience. I’ve had someone sew a raincoat for me, and I love wearing it!

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