The May 2011


Yohji Yamamoto is tired. The designer is in the final stages of casting his Spring 2010 Y-3 collection, having arrived in New York City from Tokyo the night before. Sitting on a couch in a fitting room, illuminated by a bank of windows at his back, he is nevertheless inspired. He bends over a guitar and sings a song that has just come to him: The Jetlag Blues.

We have director Theodore Stanley to thank for making Yamamoto’s spontaneous blues jam public. The scene is part of Stanley’s new thirty-minute documentary, Yohji Yamamoto: This Is My Dream, which follows Yamamoto and his team during the summer and early fall of 2009.

It should come as no surprise that Yamamoto, a constant innovator who has spent over thirty years at the vanguard of his industry, would find a creative way to express even extreme exhaustion. In Stanley’s quiet film, the dominant voice is Yamamoto’s own. Not that the designer speaks much on the job; he and his team operate through mute intuition. “Everyone stands against the outside wall in total silence,” Stanley says, describing Yamamoto’s studio. “As soon as he says a word, in a flash, people are—from every wall—stepping in. There are multiple hands moving in…Immediately, as soon as he’s stepping back, everyone’s gone, out of his sight, and he’s looking with purity at what he’s working on.”