Fashion, Style

The Fashion Alphabet

Hello!

I have always been a fan of fashion that pushes  the boundaries in terms of construction, I think designers who can not only visualize it but make it a reality should always be acknowledged and credited for their great work. Today we will take a look at a designer who has been doing this since the 70s. He now has fragrances to his line and he has exhibitions that show case his great talents and that of others.

Also we were born on the same day.

Today we take a quick and more visual than verbal look at…


 I

Issey Mikaye


Miyake was born on April 22, 1938 in Hiroshima Japan. It was in his home town where he had his first encounter with design, where he walked over the two bridges: to live and to die, situated near the epicentre where the Atomic Bomb hit.  It was his first encounter where he discovered design’s ability to inspire powerful emotional responses as well as hope.

As a student, he studied Graphic Design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, graduating in 1963. During his studies, Miyake made a point to send a letter to the head office, questioning why the lack of clothing design in the program. His focus on clothing as design instead of fashion gained attention. He shortly thereafter began to design his own clothing. Soon he was approached by Art director Jo Murakoshi to create clothing for the Toyo Rayon (now Toray Industries, Inc.) calendar, 1963 edition. Miyake presented his first collection, Nuno to ishi no uta (Poems of cloth and stone) after graduating from Tama Art University in 1963.

Taken from the Calendar 1963, October
Taken from the Calendar 1963, October

Once he completed his studies, he went on to work in Paris and New York City. He returned to Tokyo in 1970, where he founded the Miyake Design Studio, a high-end producer of women’s fashion. His success was instant: in February 1971, the first “Issey Miyake” brand collection was launched by Miyake Studio Design that was based in New York and by November Miyake had established Issey Miyake International Inc.

He has always been known for experimenting and it began in the late 1980s, with new methods of pleating that would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production. Since then his creativity has exploded beyond bounds of measure and he has immortalised himself as a designer.

Because he has always been so passionate about the structure of design and garments, he decided in 1994 and 1997 respectively to turn over creative directorship of his men’s and women’s wear collection to associate, Naoki Takizawa. Takizawa was however replaced by Dai Fujiwara in 2007 after opening his own brand which was supported by the Issey Miyake Group.

It was an incredible accomplishment for Miyake when in 2012, he became one of the co-Directors of 21 21 DESIGN SIGHT, Japan’s first design museum.

Uniquely enough, something that stood out in his history was his friendship with Apple’s Steve Jobs. He produced the black turtlenecks which would become a part of Jobs’ signature attire. Jobs was once quoted as saying, “So I asked Issey to make me some of his black turtlenecks that I liked, and he made me like a hundred of them.”

Below we take a look at a number of his most iconic collections and designs to date.

A collection designed while living in New York in 1969,
A collection designed while living in New York in 1969, “Constructable Cloth”
Issey Miyake Linen Jumpsuit Collection 1975/76
Issey Miyake Linen Jumpsuit Collection 1975/76
The original sketches for the 1976 Paradise Lost Collection
The original sketches for the 1976 Paradise Lost Collection
Advert for Paradise Lost Collection 1976
Advert for Paradise Lost Collection 1976
1976 Cocoon Coat by Miyake
1976 Cocoon Coat by Miyake
Miyake produced a culturally diverse collection called
Miyake produced a culturally diverse collection called “East Meets West” in 1978
Designed to imitate the female figure, Miyake created the Body Plastic Piece in 1980/81
Designed to imitate the female figure, Miyake created the Body Plastic Piece in 1980/81
A spectacular pleated piece from his Permanente Collection in 1985
A spectacular pleated piece from his Permanente Collection in 1985
playing with shapes and sizes in 1989
playing with shapes and sizes in 1989
PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE, 1993
PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE, 1993
A/W Issey Miyake 2010
A/W Issey Miyake 2010
S/S Issey Miyake 2015
S/S Issey Miyake 2015

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Still making waves in this Resort Wear Collection 2016…

Issey Miyake may no longer be the creative voice for his iconic brand but his style legacy will forever live on.

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“Design is not for philosophy—it’s for life.”

~ Issey Miyake

Share your thoughts and comments below!

Thanks VB xx

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