Designer Yohji Yamamoto Japanese

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Yohji Yamamoto subscribes to the classical modernity of the marine uniform with this woolen dress from his fall/winter 1991–92 collection. A feminized version of the sailor’s dress code was first coined in high fashion by Gabrielle Chanel during World War I. She presented woolen, athletic clothes as a wartime solution for her seaside store in Deauville and later Biarritz, where people craved other types of garments than those suited to the urban environment. Thereby she introduced a new dressing code which allowed women more freedom and a more leisurely, outdoor lifestyle. The striped marine sweater was called ‘le Breton’ since in France, most marines came from Brittany.
At the end of the twentieth century, Yamamoto, known for his reinterpretations of pivotal French couture moments and creations which do not constrict the female body, presents this dress which evokes the spirit of the early twentieth century ‘New Woman’, as embodied by Gabrielle Chanel and writer Colette who would often don a sailor’s uniform, symbolizing their free-spiritedness.

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