I don’t write about Yohji Yamamoto as much as I should. He makes up my holy trinity of Japanese fashion, along with Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. When I was in high school, I remember seeing the most striking image of Milla Jovovich in a crazy big white hat, and I thought, “What is that?” It was its sheer flamboyance and utter disregard for all maters of human scale that intrigued me. I loved it because I didn’t understand it. The hat could have eaten Milla for breakfast.
Milla Jovovich in Yohji Yamamoto, photographed Richard Avedon (1998)
Then during my trip to Paris, and with a much better handle on all things Yamamoto, I walked into the Paris flagship — the most beautiful store — and saw what I think might just be the most stunning hat in the world. From certain angles, it looked like one fluid fabric twist, while from the others, its structure appeared robust and tent-like. Unlike Milla’s hat, this one is positively sweet, bringing My Fair Lady to mind with that giant bow in the front. Upon speaking to the very nice sales associate, I learnt that the hat in question opened Yamamoto’s S/S 2012 show. I didn’t have the courage to ask for the price. (Wild guess: $2,000.)
Yohji in Paris (see the eye contact?)
Then the next day, while approaching the famous Cafe de Flore for an afternoon glass of wine, I spotted Mr. Yamamoto himself, enjoying a cup of coffee and some ciggies. We made eye contact — like, did we ever.
If I were rich, I would have already bought the hat the day prior. And — who knows — maybe I would have wore it to Cafe de Flore (although taking the metro might have proven difficult).
PS. Special shoutout to my friends that kept calling my Yamamoto cape “Kumamoto” during a girls’ trip to Tofino a couple of years ago — you know who you are.