Yohji Yamamoto (Japanese, born 1943)
Bodice of plywood and metal; skirt of plywood, metal, and black wool felt
l. at center back 54 1/2 in. (138.4 cm)
Purchase, Friends of the Costume Institute (2010.396a,b)
Yohji Yamamoto, a pioneer of the 1980s Japanese New Wave, is known for upending the aesthetic and technical conventions of Western dress. Based on the flat planes of the kimono, his early work obscured the body in layers of unstructured garments made of coarsely textured, unfinished fabrics. His more recent designs reinterpret dressmaking traditions through subtle alterations of material and form, often while maintaining the ambiguity of scale of his earlier work. This ensemble, from the finale of Yamamoto's autumn/winter 1991 collection, is composed of a bodice of hinged and bolted wooden panels with a crescent-shaped hip extension at the front and a cone-shaped skirt of black felted wool overlaid with hinged and bolted wooden gores.