Japanese designer Issey Miyake took on forms and fluidity for a spring/summer collection inspired by exploration, featuring seven themes that highlight the ocean’s character.
Presented in both an exhibition-like event and an explorative online video, the collection labelled ‘A Voyage in Descent’ drew influence from deep-sea voyages, exhibiting fluid and dynamic pieces that reference the different sensations of the sea. Designed by designer Satoshi Kondo and his team, each series holds its own individual qualities, with some also implementing the use of traditional Japanese manufacturing techniques that bring the design house’s roots to life.
Produced together with craftspeople located in Kyoto, Japan, the ‘Silence’ theme works with the hand-drawn dyeing technique hikizome, delivering brushed and spray-painted fabrics that appear to seep into the designs. ‘Carved’ offers neater pieces in comparison, with a suit and two-piece created through the merging of washi paper and biodegradable lamé fibres to construct a glossy cotton material.
The formal, subdued line contrasts greatly with that of the ‘Swimming’ series that utilises a ‘naki’ printing technique that blurs the vivid colours of the collection into one another. Prints within this six-piece theme focus on creatures of the sea, with styles including an open-back dress and a coordinating trouser and jacket set.
The series’ ‘Link Rings’ and ‘Fluidity Loop’ both perhaps hold the greatest reference to Issey Miyake’s signature styles, executing varying pleating methods and textural experimentation into the creations. In one series hand-pleated constructions enable compact folding, while in another recycled polyester yarn forms textured surfaces that spiral into one another to create organic, fluid shapes. The ‘Wavelet’ theme additionally incorporates ripple effects, that instead are applied through the use of contracted dyed yarn that develops a subtle silhouette.
Finally, the ‘Swimming Hue’ series presented some key players for the collection in the form of vivid, solid colour pieces constructed from smooth fabrics, with pinks, yellows and blues aimed to capture the different aspects of life in the sea.
Each item from the collection was exhibited in the Issey Miyake film directed by Yuichi Kodama. The film further referenced the concept of undersea exploration, using rippling effects, mysterious lighting and a tense ambience to capture the mood. Models moved in fluid ways, with some embracing contemporary-style dancing that highlighted the lightweight pieces they wore.