Yohji Yamamoto : This Is My Dream

Notoriously private Japanese fashion design icon Yohji Yamamoto lets his guard down in an exclusive, intimate short documentary film about life and the creative process, from Tokyo to New York.

Hailed as a genius, honored by entities from the French government to the CFDA, recognized internationally for his radical innovations and craftsmanship, Yamamoto is a visionary. Known for his mastery of sculptural forms, a penchant for androgyny and asymmetry, and an intellectual-yet-witty approach since he launched his first collection in Tokyo in 1977, Yamamoto has defined the avant-garde in fashion for decades. And yet, after more than 30 years on the world stage, he remains a mystery, cloaked by a careful division between his private life and his public craft.

Opening up about his artistic motivations, his love of music, and his aesthetic vision, the documentary follows Yamamoto through the entire creative cycle of a collection for his revolutionary line in collaboration with adidas, Y-3.

A perfect emblem of Yamamoto’s drive for innovation, the Y-3 label -one of eight distinctive lines the designer oversees- has created a new category in fashion since its introduction in 2002. Born out of a desire to merge Yamamoto’s craftsmanship with adidas’ technical prowess, Y-3 has come to be recognized as the future of sportswear, and it is the backdrop against which the film unfolds.

The documentary tracks Yohji Yamamoto and the global team working on the collection, casting, styling, show production, PR and communication for a short period of time during the Summer and early Autumn of 2009. Beginning with the finalization of the collection and styling for the show in Tokyo, followed by his arrival in New York City to oversee the final touches for the presentation of Y-3’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, the documentary turns an intimate eye on Yamamoto during fittings, model castings, guitar-playing, philosophical musings, and interactions with his staff and the global team bringing his ideas to life.

Director Theodore Stanley, in association with his production group Harbor Film Company, was granted close access to Yamamoto. Best known as the Director of Photography for Bruce Weber’s documentary films “Letter to True,” “Chop Suey,” and “Boy Artist,” THIS IS MY DREAM represents Stanley’s debut as a documentary film director. Other notable credits include the Director of Photography for Chiara Clemente’s film, “Our City Dreams” and commercial work for the likes of Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, and Chanel. In collaboration with editor Zak Tucker, Stanley has crafted a film that unveils Yamamoto’s artistic process in a way that will fascinate fashion insiders and neophytes alike.

“It was a privilege to have the opportunity to spend some time with Yohji Yamamoto in the process of making the documentary film, YOHJI YAMAMOTO : THIS IS MY DREAM. The project presented its challenges, as Yohji is a very private person and has maintained this privacy despite being one of the intriguing working artists and designers of our time. We needed to enter this world as an outsider but leave with images and words that allowed an intimate glimpse to this man's interior.”
- Theo Stanley, Director



  • January 23, 2011

    Paris, France Maison des Métallos

  • April 7 - 17, 2011

    Sarasota, Florida Sarasota Film Festival

  • April 28, 2011

    Stockholm, Sweden

  • May 18, 2011

    New York, New York Tribeca Grand

  • June 21, 2011

    Beijing, China D-Lounge

  • July 15, 2011

    Tokyo, Japan

  • October 22 - 30, 2011

    Eindhoven, The Netherlands Film + Design Festival

  • October 27, 2011

    Holon, Israel Holon Cinematheque

  • October 27, 2011

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  • November 1, 2011

    London, United Kingdom Institute of Contemporary Arts

  • November 3 - 20, 2011

    Singapore A Design Film Festival

  • November 21, 2011

    Milan, Italy

  • December 2, 2011

    Berlin, Germany



Style November 2011


I didn't expect Yohji Yamamoto to utter the word "gorgeous" several times in the opening scene of the short film Yohji Yamamoto: This is My Dream that documents the run-up to the S/S 10 Y-3 show in New York, directed by Theodore Stanley. I associate the word with a brassy blonde making kiss noises with juicy red lips, not a 68-year old Japanese designer who undoubtedly is up there in mine and many other's top ten of inspirational figures in fashion.

I guess I wouldn't mind being cocooned in Yamamoto's version of 'gorgeous' if that involved an oversized, perfectly formed black wool coat, something that I've been searching for obsessively on eBay ever since I was 17 and had an ephiphanal experience of trying on an Yohji coat in Hong Kong. To Yamamoto, the word doesn't call for sensationalist excess but instead is about boiling it down to clothes that are seeped with heartfelt feeling and purity. Seeing Yamamoto at close quarters and at work in this half-an-hour short, only serves to demonstrate the devastatingly "gorgeous" simplicity which he and his staff embody in dress and in the designs they produce. I enjoyed his autobiography Yohji Yamamoto: My Dear Bomb as well as the Wim Wenders film Notebook on Cites & Clothes immensely and this film is a truly wonderful updated accompaniment despite its brevity. The highly quotable nuggets from Yamamoto just keep coming…

"I didn't want to disturb people's eyes. Too many colours. I am very tired to look at colour. For my total life, I am comfortable being in black."

"I was born in the ruins (of bombed Tokyo) I had no memory of Japanese culture because those things were all destroyed. This is my root - the ruined Tokyo."

"I'm not interested in fashion ... I'm just interested in how to cut clothing."

"I have my own judge in me. And ...he's always... (hesitates) judging me"

Yamamoto's relationship with Y-3 is surprising in that it was Yamamoto who approached adidas to collaborate back in 2001 before the relationship between designer and mainstream brand had even been formulated. The reovlutionary turn of that relationship is something we take for granted now. The Y-3 S/S 10 show therefore is a perfect vehicle for this documentary to take place, with its memorable World Cup related shenanigans, and Zinedine Zidane and Yamamoto himself taking a penalty kick (which they didn't show in the film). The frenetic pace of a New York Fashion Week casting and show prep provided the perfect contrast to Yamamoto's quiet and brief musings as well as a surprise turn on the guitar (not many people know that Yamamoto recorded an album and regularly jams with his band).

The DVD is available from Y-3 stores in limited edition boxes that also come with a cedarwood, patchouli, lavender and grapefruit scented candle, one that's worth burning for a bit WHILST watching the DVD and if you're lucky to have be able to watch a TV/laptop from your bathtub, then it makes for an altogether GORGEOUS half an hour - that's the Yohji sort of gorge by the way.



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