• Marina

Notebook on Cities and Clothes

Today I watched Wim Wenders's film - “Notebook on Cities and Clothes”. The documentary focused on the work of Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. The director begins by discussing how the world has changed with the advent of digital technology, how it influences our perception and identity. He considers fashion within the landscape of production images in general, and not as a separate industry.

The film was shot in Tokyo and Paris in 1989: documenting the designer’s new collection from creation to fashion runway. Yamamoto's English is lacking and his limited vocabulary makes him sound mysterious. I like that he avoids the use of high heels in his works; even for collections with sophisticated puffy dresses, heels are absent. He explains woman with such shoes always look older to him and therefore he feels “I have nothing to do for her”. I did not understand his thought, but I am glad that he does not torment women with uncomfortable footwear. This is especially important in Japan, where there still exists a dogma for power dressing. As the Minister for Health announces: “High heels at work are necessary and appropriate”, to the sound of women’s protests against dress code in 2019.

Yamamoto likes to look at old black-and-white photographs for a long time; on his desktop are many books by August Zander. He likes the simplicity and functionality of work clothes, he believes that the coat is beautiful because it warms you; it is like your best friend. Yamamoto in general likes comfort and his attitude towards clothes describes how he wants to shelter people from the cold. He states, “I present my clothes to women as if to say, 'Can I help you?”

Likewise, Yamamoto explores and discusses; asymmetry, style, the colour black, fabric texture and cut. On a personal note, for the warmth, beauty and comfortable shoes, I really want to hug him.

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