Yohji Yamamoto quite literally dove into his Spring concept for Y-3. “I found a tropical island in the south of Japan called Miyako-jima,” he said before the show. “The sea there is like heaven. So I thought, Let’s go to the beach.” Specifically, he said, “I love diving,” noting that he dives freestyle, without the use of equipment. “On one dive I sank very deep. I felt like a baby. It was my therapy.”

Yamamoto, 70, translated the experience into a nostalgic yet accessible surf theme, merging a modern understanding of the sport with a vintage fifties vibe. To a soundtrack that alternated between ukulele strains and more stock rock, models ambled around surfboards and sun-faded wood planks in Yamamoto’s trademark black-on-black cottons and nylons, nicely infused with bright floral prints and sunset colors.

In his main line, Yamamoto has recently begun experimenting with shock-fluoro brights in a welcome turnabout, but for Y-3 he kept the color pops to tropical flowers, such as hibiscus and bird-of-paradise, in crowded compositions of pink, purple, and yellow. These used to be called Hawaiian prints, as in Hawaiian shirts, which were all the rage in the fifties. Here, they thrived in a modern, sublime way—as a long slicker, for example, or on slip-ons and skinny ties. Other colors made the cut, too, like a soothing sea-foam green. And who’d deny ivory linen makes a superb accompaniment to matte black?

Yamamoto is occasionally called out for not expressing his Y-3 collections more cerebrally, like in his eponymous line, and it’s true that the Y-3 logo and Adidas three stripes were fairly ubiquitous here. But it’s worth remembering that at Y-3, he’s working with a massive, multifaceted sports label with global branding needs that go far beyond the niche and abstract. This outing was an overture to that market, and in those terms, it worked great.
—Lee Carter
Runway Feed

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