When we saw Vanessa Redgrave speak at the Hay Literary Festival in June, when asked about the arts, and her phenomenal contributions in her lifetime thus far, she humbly spoke of music. How music is the most personal of all human expressions. So in order to try to convey to you how deeply moving and yes, spiritual, my experience of the Yohji Yamamoto catwalk show, held in the incredible space of Raphael's 'cartoons' (called, in fact, the 'Raphael Gallery' - where all the Fashion in Motion events are held), at the V&A last friday, the best thing I can do is ask you to click here while reading this post:
This was the first music playing when the show opened, as this couple, dressed in black, but walked out sombrely, together. It felt like a wedding. The song, Ave Maria, is one that is deeply personal to me - connected, as is often the case in life, to a moment so random: watching an episode of West Wing, with my father, as he lay in bed during his last summer. It was a personal moment - and deeply profound.
As was this show. It was an expression, I felt, of the sanctity of marriage. A celebration of love. All of the models in the show were real couples. Not just real couples, but real LONDON couples. Cast, often, from the street. So we're basically talking 'London street style.'
They were different sizes, and shapes. Sometimes, the woman was taller, or older. One couple were male, another, female. It had the effect that all true art seeks to achieve: it made me think about how each of us - like each object of clothing, or each painting, or each tree - is unique.
And whatever it is that draws us to our loved one.. it is a mystery.
We watched in awe. I wish I had filmed it. It will soon be available to view online.
There is still time, though, to get to the Yohji Yamamoto show before it closes on the 10th, and one of the highlights, for me - besides seeing the clothes, almost being able to touch them (I saw a few girls quietly, reverently do so) is to watch the films of other catwalk shows he has done in the past. In the meantime, I will try to focus on a couple in each post.
After this song, he played.. everything. Even, at one point, Jimi Hendrix.
All photos by me, during rehearsal and during the show, last Friday.