The Little Black Jacket through the ideas of Yohji Yamamoto

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Давно я не писала про то, что заставляет мое сердце трепетать, а язык говорить без устали. Это мода. И чем больше мыслей в моей голове о моде, тем больше я пишу на отвлеченные от моды темы. Хотя в черновиках у меня много незаконченных постов.

И я вспомнила о своем университете. Задания нам давали всегда странные, но интересные, заставляющие мыслить о моде совершенно в противоположном направлении. Но после таких работ начинаешь воспринимать моду совершенно по-другому, абсолютно иначе.

И один раз нам сказали объяснить феномен Little Black Jacket Chanel через идеи Yohji Yamamoto. Многие вообще не знают о нем ничего, кроме как о коллаборации с Y-3 adidas. Но это один из тех дизайнеров, которые создали моду такой, какой мы видим ее сейчас. Это огромный кладез идей и вдохновения, которое потом можно увидеть на подиумах.

Little Black Jacket. Мы так воспеваем маленькое черное платье, так при чем тут жакет? Да, но в истории моды он сыграл, возможно, более серьезную роль, чем Little Black Dress. И сегодня на выставках работ Karl Lagerfeld дал новую жизнь черному жакету, возвратив ему его настоящее место в истории. Так что же могло связать эти две разные культуры, эпохи и дизайнеров?

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“What distinguishes us from animals? Of course, we are free from fur, claws and tails, but it is far more important that we are able to feel instead of living by the instincts. We have a gift to absorb and reflect the emotions, to empathize, to influence by our feelings and to pretend that we can change the time, or better to say, to reflect it, thus creating our own epoch. Maybe we can live without it, being limited to a wristwatch to keep track of time for dinner and sleeping time, but we feel it so badly to be able to change it, as going against it, believing that the transience of time is amenable to be changed.

Time is everywhere and is nowhere, but as Yohji Yamamoto once admitted: “My dream is to draw time”. Being an avant-garde designer, he reflects the all-around chaos, political and economical movements, people and ideas through the forms, asymmetry and destruction of his collections, though reflecting the time of his epoch and drawing on the paper the face of the time. Fashion, especially fast, is soulless; it is dead from the beginning, being a drawing, till the end, lying in somebody’s “over clothed” wardrobes. Such clothes do not change anything; they exist only for the purpose to be an everyday variant for going to work or anywhere else. This is the difference for the garment to be timeless and just even not to exist in the time, being outside it. And, if I have the right to say this, this is like intelligence and intellect against inanity.

However, “drawing time” not only means the reflection of it, but also a change, the change that was made by the small black simple garment, so peaceful today, but so revolutional not so long time ago – the Little Black Jacket. Being the new fresh breath, not only in figurative sense, but being the real freedom from the hidebound corsets and heavy dresses, it was the beginning of women liberation and the right for the loud voice from the full-breathed breast not tightened by the “feminine belts”. It was the change of the time; it was courage to redraw the time, to show that nothing could be under the control of it. Chanel not only reflected the epoch, but also remade it with scissors of her feelings and dream for alteration.


Despite the fact that Yamamoto and Chanel could not stand in one line in the mind, being absolutely different from the beginning till the end, both designers have a very strong common point – for them “making a garment means thinking about the people” and they have “feelings of a generation wearing the clothes it has chosen”. Once Yamamoto pointed out, that symmetry  – the symbol of perfection – is not sufficiently human. From the first time, thinking about absolutely symmetric LBJ, there could be seem no connection between that phrase and the garment, however, this is not true. Before the LBJ the female costume was symmetric, tight, made by rules in the form of hourglass; this was the period of “symmetric time”. Nevertheless, even being also symmetric, LBJ brought the time into asymmetry, it ruined the “correct lines” of the women’s bodies, rebuilding the silhouette and remaking the epoch. And today, what we can notice all around the world on the exhibition of The Little Black Jacket by Karl Lagerfeld – is the great variety of forms of LBJ, Feminization and “Masculinization”; today, being worn by all age groups it lost it’s age, all races – it became international, all sexes – it became unisex, and “for our time and no time” – being timeless”.

                                                                                                            by Daria Bambalina


Brand Manager in Fashion and Luxury Goods and Blogger

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