adidasThis season, Y-3 continues the celebration of its 10th anniversary by looking forward to a future looking back on its past. The show’s concept is “future thrift,” and it imagines how coming generations might mix elements of technology and tradition. Shown on Manhattan’s Lower East Side on Sunday, February 10, 2013, as part of New York fashion week, the collection fused past and future to create clever new interpretations of Y-3’s sport-style signatures: exuberant graphic prints; innovative fabric juxtapositions; layered, voluminous silhouettes; and instantly covetable footwear. Yohji Yamamoto, the label’s designer, described an act of “walking backward into the future,” suggesting a unique, non-linear idea of time passing. Models walked the runway to music by Rinôçérôse and Ruth Brown while a front-row crowd including Sam Claflin, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Coco Rocha, A$AP Rocky, Dylan Rieder, Casey Spooner, Leigh Lezark, Geordon Nicol, and adidas Sport Style Creative Director Dirk Schönberger looked on.

The personal jetpack never came to pass and Mars remains unconquered. So what might the future really hold? And how will the next generation combine their technology with our tradition? These thoughts were the starting point of a collection described as “retro-dynamic,” “secondhand-tech,” and “visionary nostalgia.” The results are classic silhouettes realized in innovative fabrics—and vice versa—that create a startlingly modern effect. This might mean a traditional herringbone woven with a touch of Day-Glo yellow thread. Or a long pleated track-dress designed with a built-in PVC cape. Or a military-style tunic that unzips at the sides to reveal its neon lining. In the end, each piece strikes a balance between yesterday and tomorrow.

The women’s collection carries the thread from last season with an emphasis on a feminine silhouette: defined shoulders, nipped waists, and long, swirling shapes. As always, dramatic volume is present, seen here in chic ruffled capes, mile-long ball skirts, olive drab sarouel pants, and cotton cardigans with splay sides. Several pieces feature customizable details, such as the button-up hems on cotton parkas, removable skirts on tailored trousers, and snap-away PVC trim on everything from cape to blazers to dresses. Statement pieces included show-stopping “puffer” ball gowns—a touch of the avant-garde whimsy that is a Yamamoto signature.

Menswear meanwhile follows a theme of bold and bright, featuring tones of “ultra-pop” (acid-green), “alpha-pop” (hot pink), and “warning” (fluoro-orange). Sumptuous neon-stripe knits are paired with graphic prints that reinterpret camouflage in rigid patterns reminiscent of architecture drawings. Yet the collection also emphasizes elegant tailoring, evidenced by quilted blazers trimmed in grosgrain and button-down shirts inlaid with an abstract, barely perceptible Y-motif. As in the womenswear, modularity figures predominantly with reversible double-faced coated-cotton shirts and removable PVC elements on coats and pants.

Footwear embraces the future-past aesthetic to create a range of innovative shoes that draw on adidas heritage while imagining a bold new 21st-century look. The shoes play fast and loose with elements of running, cross-training, and basketball, fusing them all in a glorious mix of fabrics and styles. While the pieces employ the most breakthrough adidas materials, they are designed in a naïve, hand-made, personal way, suggesting that a voyager from the future may have cobbled them together by him or herself. Velvet women’s hiking boots come with a glossy, super-chunky white sole, while geisha-style platform shoes in a collage of materials elevate the Y-3 look to stratospheric heights. Men’s shoes remain masculine and tough with a range of military-style hiking boots and high-top oxfords. Trainers for both sexes employ a tubular cushion technology inspired by car tires for a look that is unforgettably adidas.

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