Black over white … Yohji Yamamoto’s designs are on display at the V&A in London. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

It must be one of his many qualities that Yohji Yamamoto is the kind of fashion designer who appeals to people, like me, who are not dedicated followers of fashion. One reason for that could be that he avoids the characteristics of catwalk culture or couture that put us off: too expressive, too ostentatious. You sense that he makes clothing for real people rather than divas. Classic Yohji clothes are relaxed and durable, so that the wearer looks stylish but not preening. And it’s not just his clothes that appeal, it’s him: his demeanour, his focus, his talent. I confess that I have never bought a shred of his clothing, and yet he is one of the designers, of any discipline, that I most admire.


Justin McGuirk