NEW YORK — What's black and white and colorful all over?
Issey Miyake's new 2,600-square-foot store at 802 Madison Avenue, between 67th and 68th Streets. The unit replaces the designer's 1,800-square-foot boutique at 902 Madison Avenue near 77th Street, which was closed in June.
With white walls, concrete floors and light boxes hanging from the ceiling in a black-and-white checkerboard pattern, the clothes provide the color with brightly hued garments displayed on mannequins strategically positioned throughout the space, which was designed by Gordon Kipping of G TECTS LLC.
The store, which sells Miyake's men's and women's collections, ME and Fete, showcases the designer's feats with fabric, color and pleating. Polyester is twisted and shredded, patterns look like they were airbrushed on garments, and fabric puckers like popcorn.
Many of Miyake's designs showcase versatility. A piece of fabric shaped like a butterfly is actually a top that "can be worn at least five ways," a spokesman said. After struggling to demonstrate, he called a saleswoman, who quickly pulled the top over her head and then turned it into a shawl and a long draped jacket. The shirt-in-a-bag, a small, fist-sized ball of polyester, transforms into a red sleeveless top with big round pockets.
Miyake's clothes can look shapeless or deceptively simple on hangers. "The body brings it alive in a three-dimensional form," the spokesman said.
ME, which started as a whimsical T-shirt line in 2001, has evolved to include skirts, jackets and dresses. The collection is noted for its eye-catching prints and pop-culture-influenced designs. All items are created from stretch fabrics and designed as one-size-fits-all. Polyester shirts are priced from $150 to $250.
ME is also sold at the TriBeCa Issey Miyake store. A freestanding ME shop opened in Paris at 29 Rue du Dragon in March, and there are plans to open a ME unit in Japan. The spokesman said the firm hasn't ruled out opening an ME shop in Manhattan.
Fete is made of high-quality polyester. A red sleeveless dress with a row of black and red pleats looks like a knit. A cotton polyurethane tank top, which costs $325, has fabric coils dangling from the shoulders and hem and comes in a pleated version. A cape has similar coils for wrapping around the neck.Coats made from parachute fabric are lined with Thinsulate and sell for $1,835. A polyester skirt with white lines airbrushed on the fold of every pleat is $1,095; its matching shirt is $1,375.
For fall, Miyake was taken with vines, which appear on dresses, gloves, pants, jackets and shirts. The fabric for a silver foil jacket, $1,095, and pants, $920, from the signature collection uses traditional yuzen kimono printing techniques. Silver foil is added to the densely woven silk at the end of the process.
A black dress, $2,750, is made by layering three sizes of heat-cut pleated fabric — a total of 27 pieces — and connecting them in an organic vine pattern to appear to surround the body in ivy. There's even a trenchcoat in a vine fabric and a vine print on shirts.
Handbags and accessories coordinate with the collections. A large leather doctor's bag, $1,430, is printed with flowers that look like they were pressed within a book. There's also embossed leather hobo-style handbags, $990, and nylon and polyurethane bags in two colorways, black with silver stripes and brown with copper stripes, for $615.
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