“Rei Kawakubo, in many ways a comrade of Yohji Yamamoto’s, confronts the logic of Fashion head on, by constantly renewing ‘the now’: in other words, by accelerating the change of Fashion, or by producing ‘now’ before ‘now’ is usurped. She moves faster than Fashion, manufacturing her ‘now’ before ‘now’ ceases to be. Renewing herself so quickly that no one can keep up, she does not allow herself to become entrenched in a fixed image, or to imitate herself.
Yamamoto, on the other hand, turns his gaze backwards. Picture someone standing at a bridge [sic]. Fashion involves that person gazing at the water approaching from upstream, fixing their attention on what will be next. Now, the reversal of that gaze, in other words, turning to look in the direction in which the water disappears, will mean an approach where attention is not focused on that which is about to become ‘now,’ but on the phase of time when ‘now’ ceases to be ‘now.’ Yohji Yamamoto often says that ‘now’ is transient. Perhaps because he is able to look at things this way, he can touch the fleeting ‘now’ and capture the very moment when things are destroyed and disappear.”
Japanese philosopher Kiyokazu Washida discussing Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. Essay: The Past, the Feminine, the Vain.