The six large screens punctuating the vast, rough-hewn Event Center at Parc de la Villette, where the Issey Miyake show took place, each displayed a black-and-white photograph of the brand’s founding designer. There was also a quote of his that read: “I believe there is hope in design. Design evokes surprise and joy in people.”
In continuity was a phrase embossed on a leaf of handmade washi paper left on each attendee’s seat. That said: “We see design as a process driven by curiosity, built upon a comprehensive exploration – bringing joy, wonder, and hope to life, and of course with a touch of playfulness.” The Issey Miyake brand’s current designer Satoshi Kondo and his design team signed this in memory of Miyake, who died on Aug. 5 at the age of 84.
Miyake’s memory, spirit and teachings continue to help fashion the brand, which for spring produced a graceful, sculptural collection.
To spark imaginations, Kondo and the team members made sculptures with their own hands. One looked like clay bowls stacked atop each other, with some rims touching. The ideas, elements and textures from the making-of inspired the spring pieces.
They comprised a strong, multidimensional collection, called “A Form That Breathes,” in solid hues, such as yellow, fuchsia and mint green, or multicolored geometric prints.
Models walked through the darkened room decorated with two tall amorphic nonwoven fabric sculptures in white to music played by pianist Koki Nakano.
Garments, like an off-the-shoulder dress made of a single piece of draped fabric, created elegant 3D silhouettes. A series of seamless pieces were mash-ups of knitting techniques resulting in both rounded and sharp details.
The Miyake team also knitted delicate yarns together, causing dresses to bounce as models moved.
The fashion’s wearability was especially notable when five modern dancers came onstage to perform, twirling and leaping, before models made their last appearance.
“Every collection for me is an embodiment and a reflection of what I learned from Issey-san — and his sense of this idea of body, and the relationship between the body and the garment,” Kondo said backstage after the show. “So this collection, in particular, is my interpretation.”