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.
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.
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.
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.