London’s V&A Readies Yohji Yamamoto Retrospective


By Stephanie Murg Comment

(Photos from left: Koichi Inakoshi, Monica Feudi, Ronald Stoops. All courtesy V&A.)

As if the Design Museum’s imminent Wim Crouwel fest wasn’t reason enough to plan a spring or summer trip to London, the city’s Victoria and Albert Museum will celebrate the 30-year career of fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto with a retrospective that will run from March 12 to July 10, 2011. And it’s no ordinary show. Curated by the V&A’s Ligaya Salazar and designed by longtime Yamamoto collaborator Masao Nihei with graphic art direction by Peter Saville, the retrospective will feature more than 60 garments in the museum’s main exhibition court as well as 20 more on mannequins sprinkled among the treasures of the V&A: here a deconstructed suit in the Norfolk House Music Room, there a Shibori-dyed gown communing with Renaissance sculptures. The main space will provide context to the womenswear and menswear looks with a chronology of excerpts from Yamamoto’s fashion shows, films, and performances as well as highlights from key collaborations, including those with photographer Nick Knight (who will produce the image for the exhibition poster), M/M Paris, choreographer Pina Bausch, and, presumably, Adidas. Meanwhile, the Yamamoto-mania will extend beyond the V&A, with companion exhibitions at the two London sites of the Wapping Project. Now if only we could convince the V&A to have John Waters (a great Yamamoto fan) do the audio guide…