With all my respect, Interview from A Blog Curated by Yohji Yamamoto
Two of the 20th century’s contemporary masters of fashion sit side by side, their dark reflections mirrored on a glass table. Both choose black to shade their worlds with an intellectual and very human beauty – taking fabric to tell their culturally obtuse yet equally poetic stories. From the West comes Tunisian-born Azzedine Alaïa, whose dramatically body-conscious and skintight garments sculpt the feminine form – and from the East, Japanese-born Yohji Yamamoto, with a philosophy that celebrates the “air between the skin and the garment”. Benoit Peverelli captures their moment in film, while Laurence Benaïm talks to the two men on the eve of exciting projects – Yohji’s Pitti Immagine exhibition and Azzedine’s Marc Newson-designed shoe boutique opening in Paris. Here are some selected quotes from their talk:
THE BIG ART
Yohji Yamamoto: I prefer to show the hidden body. I’m a man but I think that what is on the inside is sexiest. If this season I have suggested a symbolic body by using pleats and tucks to indicate the figure, the bosom, the side, the back, it is because I don’t like to show the body ostentatiously. I prefer to dream.
Azzedine Alaïa: People pay more and more attention to themselves, to what they eat. The more interesting the body becomes, the closer I get to the skin.
YY: Azzedine Alaïa has always tried to preserve the pleasure in his creations. It’s his priority. I admire his pride and his freedom.
AA: Yohji Yamamoto’s clothes, even when voluminous and floating, still define the body. Through the work we are united by something unique, something which goes further than time, than our encounters. The mutual respect has become a friendship. It’s an alliance of presence.
YY: Red isn’t a colour, it’s a light.
AA: There are red reds, violet reds. Red is another black. I never get bored of it.
THE FUTURE SOFTLY
YY: With my eyes turned to the past, I walk backwards into the future.
AA: Every morning I ask myself:”What will I learn today?”. I don’t make plans. I live by the day. I’m in good shape or I’m not.
YY: I like everything that is big in love. Even the excess.
AA: When I love, I embrace, I touch, I pinch.