Japanese designer Issey Myake explored fluidity and forms for a spring/summer collection that was inspired by exploration. It featured seven themes that celebrate the ocean’s character.
The exhibition-like presentation and the explorative online video presented the collection, called “A Voyage in Descent”. It was inspired by deep-sea expeditions and features fluid, dynamic pieces that refer to the various sensations of the ocean. Each series was designed by Satoshi Kondo and his colleagues. Some also use traditional Japanese manufacturing techniques to bring the house’s roots back to life.
The ‘Silence theme was created in collaboration with Kyoto craftspeople. It uses the hand-drawn dyeing technique, hikizome. This produces brushed and spray-painted fabrics which appear to seep into designs. The ‘Carved” theme offers neater pieces. It features a two-piece suit and suit made from washi paper and biodegradable fibres.
This formal and subdued look contrasts strongly with the series ‘Swimming,’ which uses a naki’ printing technique to blur the bright colours. This six-piece theme features prints that focus on sea creatures. Styles include an open-back dress, a matching trouser, and jacket.
Perhaps the most obvious reference to Issey’s signature style is in the series’ Link Rings’ or Fluidity Loop, which employ varying pleating techniques and textural experimentation to create their creations. One series uses hand-pleated constructions that allow for compact folding. Another series uses recycled polyester yarn to form textured surfaces that spiral into each other to create organic, fluid shapes. In the ‘Wavelet” theme, ripple effects are also used. This is achieved by using contracted dyed yarn which creates subtle silhouettes.
The ‘Swimming Hue series featured some key players in the collection. These vivid solid colours pieces were made from smooth fabrics and feature bright, vibrant colors.
Yuichi Kodama directed the Issey Myake film. Each item was displayed in the exhibition. The film also referred to the idea of undersea exploration. It used rippling effects and mysterious lighting to create a mood. Some models moved fluidly, while others embraced contemporary dancing to highlight the lightweight pieces they wore.