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April 21, 2016

Spotlight: Issey Miyake


Photo Credit: Yuriko Takagi

Editors' Notes

A hooded shirt and skirt (left), and a shirt and pants, pleated with bamboo-like sections, part of Issey Miyake's fall 1989 collection.

Photo courtesy of Taschen

Editors' Notes

Issey Miyake’s design from the spring 1998 collection, a double-layered dress made of bias-cut linen sewn as a tube and folded double at the hem. Shrink-treating the inner layer created two different textures.

Photo courtesy of Taschen

Editors' Notes

Issey Miyake’s spring 1995 collection coat inspired by the shape of a tent used by Central Asian nomads. The woven fabric made of monofilament fibre is appliquéd with shapes in the back and then pleated horizontally.

Photo Credit: Yuriko Takagi

Editors' Notes

An organdy shirt, as transparent as cicada wings, that Issey Miyake created for the spring 1989 collection. The shape of a scarf is folded many times and pleated diagonally, then secured by stitching three points.

Photo Credit: Yuriko Takagi

Editors' Notes

A bodice woven with rattan and bamboo that was made by Kosuge Shochikudo, in collaboration with Emi Fukuzawa for Issey Miyake’s spring 1982 collection.

Photo courtesy of Taschen

Editors' Notes

Hardcover edition of Issey Miyake (Taschen) in a book bag, designed by Miyake.

With festival season well under way, the brilliantly functional creations of of Japanese designer Issey Miyake are again front-of-mind with the launch of Issey Miyake (Taschen)—a limited edition tribute to pleated fabrics and a host of other innovations—sandwiched inside a tote sure to catch any street style photographer’s eye. Inside, the volume includes a veritable chronology of the designer’s career, from the opening of his studio in 1970, to his folded and creased garments created in the 1980s and his utilitarian 1990s Pleats Please phase (Miyake was even the mastermind behind Steve Jobs’ black turtlenecks), as well as his work to establish 21_21 Design Sight, a design-focused museum that opened in 2007 in Tokyo, created by Miyake and architect Tadao Ando. The book, published in conjunction with an exhibition at the National Art Center in Tokyo, paints Miyake as a visionary who has honed his ideas over decades, and the evolution is startling. As author Kazuko Koike, head of MUJI’s Laboratory of Superior Items for Living, writes, “One often talks of leaping or flying through time and space, and in Issey Miyake’s case, it might not be inappropriate to think of him as being equipped with constantly whirring rotors of inspiration that allow him to make sudden take-offs and landings.” The book also includes a host of new images captured in Iceland by Yuriko Takagi, reminiscent of her singular photography trips to India, Kenya, Morocco, and China, to shoot Miyake’s designs, in the 1990s. In her stark images, Miyake’s work looks as relevant today as it did when each collection had its debut.

By Elizabeth Varnell

Pictured: A hooded shirt and skirt (left), and a shirt and pants, pleated with bamboo-like sections, part of Issey Miyake’s fall 1989 collection.
Photo courtesy of Taschen

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Photo Credit: Yuriko Takagi
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