Yoshiyuki Miyamae cast his eye skyward for the theme of his fall collection — aurora borealis, or in Issey Miyake speak, “chromatic fantasia.” The designer was fascinated by effects of the Northern lights, which overlap, intertwine, ripple and change.
The fabrics used were the embodiment of this, not only because of their incandescent colors — blues, purples, reds, greens and oranges — but also in how they were made. Always searching for new techniques, Miyamae, for instance, presented 10 looks that pulsed with grooved, graduating blocks of color that gave the impression of moving light. These were made of raw wool from Shetland sheep raised on fields in a part of Scotland touched by the Northern Lights. It was dyed in five hues and combed into a thread before being woven into the aurora’s colors, which change depending on the angle from which they’re seen.
Meant to invoke the energy of electric plasma was a “baked stretch” technique involving glue being printed on fabric, then baked to create pleats. And to express an aurora-type shimmer through layering color, the brand lightened up its “steam stretch” technique whereby creases are woven into a piece of cloth using heat-reactive thread that shrinks when steamed.
The optical approach was most spectacular in looks where the treated pleats had ethereal swirls of color, reminiscent of Miyake’s Pleats Please — with a generous twist.