The master of understated cerebral glamour.
A graduate of the Bunkafukuso Gakuin school in Tokyo, Yamamoto began designing women’s clothing in 1970, but did not show his first collection until 1977 in Tokyo. Although often branded the impish poster boy for obscure Orientalism, Yamamoto has over the years moved towards a Western approach to fashion, augmenting his Japanese aesthetic with Parisian elagance. Though he frequently employs techniques of draping, folding, ruching and coiling, Yamamoto’s clothing — poetic rather than intellectual — is never overtly complicated.
“I’m like an old lightbulb — sometimes on and sometimes off.”