Yohji Yamamoto (Japanese, b. 1943). “Wedding Dress,” spring/summer 2000. Natural cotton muslin and ivory silk jersey with large laser-cut holes. Gift of Minori Shironishi, 2003 (2003.573.8a, b).
This unconventional wedding dress concluded a presentation by Yohji Yamamoto that, according to Robin Givhan of the Washington Post, “pushed one to think about construction.” From the first model in a muslin sheath with only dressmaker’s marks as decoration, Yamamoto sought to establish his interest in the fundamental principles of dressmaking. The details of creating a toile, or sample in muslin, from which the final pattern for a garment is taken were made especially legible in the designer’s use of the inexpensive cotton. The stitches that establish the grain lines of the cloth, the spiraling of the fabric indicating the draper’s process, and the control of fullness through the use of tucks and darts were especially visible in designs that appeared poised near, but not past, the point of resolution and completion. While the nature of its materials suggests the provisional quality of the work, the gown is crafted with the careful finish of a couture atelier. Nonetheless, the wedding dress projects the energetic spontaneity of a sketch, like a schematic of an idea rather than a conclusive and fixed work.