Issey Miyake S/S 2018

Issey Miyake S/S 2018

 Yoshiyuki Miyamae presents a triumphant and energetic offering for spring

Mood board:  Yoshiyuki Miyamae is one of those rare designers who has the ability to endlessly reinterpret and renew his brand’s extensive archives without ever feeling inauthentic or unfaithful to the brand. This season was no exception: most notably, yesterday’s show was about knitwear and the way Issey Miyake’s sartorial philosophy - pleats, origami etc - could be translated into knitted fabrics. But that wasn’t all. The Japanese designer also explored prints - in shades going from turquoise to gold to terracotta - and elemental shapes, fashioning most pf his dresses and tops out of squares, rectangles or ovals of fabric.

Scene setting: The show took place in the Grand Palais’ Salon d’Honneur, where a single spotlight illuminated three strange figures made out of what looked like elastic fabric. It turned out to be three dancers who, at the beginning of the show, ran back and forth the runway, creating shapes with their long asymetrical knitwear dresses as much as with their bodies. Miyake has always been a brand meant for real women, the kind that walk and run and jump and, in sum, live in their clothes, so the choreography acted as a timely reminder of the kind of pieces that we were about to see on the catwalk.

Best in show: The first eight looks were exclusively knitwear, pleated and folded into what looked like a laid-out origami paper, retaining its 3D quality yet never losing a flowy element. Then there were pleated trousers with slits, ponchos with graphic prints, mid-calf shift dresses, and vaporous silk chiffon skirts. The reason why the Japanese brand still enjoys a discreet global success among its clients is that it speaks to women of all ages and backgrounds. Miyamae knows this, which is perhaps why he made a point of choosing a casting where young nubile models rubbed shoulders with elderly women and all ages in between. It was a rare treat to see that kind of diversity on a Paris catwalk displayed with such naturality. Bravo for that.

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