ISSEY Miyake’s presentation opened with a series of shots of SS21 pieces on plinths or laid on the floor: clothes positioned before their viewers like works of art in an exhibition. The show space was set up like an art gallery, decorated with clean blocks of colour and clothes in abstract shapes on the walls. These came alive, twitching and swirling like plasticine in a primary-coloured stop-motion animation.
Satoshi Kondo, the brand’s artistic director and head designer, rooted this collection in a meditation on the practicalities of transporting garments around the world. On seeing his previous collection boxed up ready to be sent to Paris, he envisaged a compact line of clothes that could be transported with ease.
The clothes in the film zip and unzip, and squeeze and stretch themselves, exposing their construction and demonstrating their ability to be compacted.
The pieces embodied Issey Miyake’s classic union of functionality and beauty: wearable art fortified with practical tailoring. Clothes were rendered in weatherproof fabrics, knitted textures, and splashy, colourful textiles. Each were multi-functional, whether wearable in different formulations, versatile in their means of compaction, or pieces of clothing that could be hung like artworks.
Headpieces were crafty and expressive, and footwear was platformed; blocky and often tied with cords that were echoed in the construction of some of the clothing. The collection was exuberant and joyful; championing a utilitarian beauty.
by Connie de Pelet