MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

ISSEY MIYAKE

2023.03.04

Text by Lucrezia Sgualdino

THE SQUARE AND BEYOND 

 

With the Fall Winter 23 collection, fashion house Issey Miyake explores the broad ways in which the geometric shape of the square can have an impact on the clothes themselves, getting inspired in experimenting with shapes, colors and fabrics.

As time flows and renews itself,

A rhythm beats, sometimes in time, sometimes in disorder; 

A harmony may be perfect here and discordant there. 

 

Progress, turn and digress, meet, divide, overtake, repeat, extend, expand, and stop. 

 

In a way that is at once subtle and bold.

In a way that is both concise and complex.

In a way that is sweet and strange. 

 

Shapes and colors, freed from the canvas,

Now speak of limitless freedom,
Playing with an established system that prevails [a world of creativity].

Creative Director Satoshi Kondo presents the Fall Winter 23-24 women’s collection as a celebration of symmetrical, balanced and rational, almost perfect geometry. The research stems from a reflection on the quadrilateral, the shape with which various objects representative of creativity for an artist such as pieces of fabric, canvases or sheet music are described. A skillful and rigorous analysis leads to the creation of innovative proposals, in technique and visual rendering. The compositions are striking, characterized by an unconventional aesthetic that investigates the empty space created between the garment and the person wearing it, the so-called but. The show comes to life on the stage of the théâtre du Châtelet; it opens with a live marimba performance by the ensemble Trio SR9. The tension on the stage rises as the instruments continue to play, creating an ever-increasing rhythm and atmosphere. Muses wearing square-inspired looks walk briskly and sinuously along a pathway drawn only by the cold, decisive light.

ISSEY MIYAKE FW23.

The défilé opens with the series called canopy, a drape of fabric covers the entire body, almost creating a geometric shape with a three-dimensional structure. Thanks to the movement, angles are formed on both sides, the soft and elastic material enhances the unusual and singular silhouette. The square scheme, on the other hand, is inspired in a more real and didactic way by the idea of squares coming into contact, moving and transforming. These are recreated by knitting techniques, and are achieved by the combination of vertical and horizontal structures. The same geometric pattern is also emphasized by the print made on the fabric itself, accentuating its outline and shape. There is next the rythm check, inspired by the alternating rhythm of music, sees the graphic and harmonic succession of a check print. The effect of the fabric appears soft and deep: these characteristics are the result of the shrinking process that is applied. In fact, the shrinking thread is woven within the fabric itself following a grid pattern, immersed in water at high temperatures, and then reduced to half its original size. What you get is precisely a textured garment with a wrinkled effect.

ISSEY MIYAKE FW23.

Within this section we also find counterpoint: check, a series of pieces that can also be worn backwards to create a totally different look. The different lengths of the garments’ layers allow them to be worn precisely in various ways, creating play and illusions to the eye. The element that appears next is the counterpoint, a knit series made without seams and characterized by the assemblage of irregular shapes. Different structures make up the clothes. These are worked and knitted in different directions for front and back, thus creating a tension in the fabric that takes shape in the twisted silhouette seen on the runway. In addition to the great craftsmanship and techniques used to make the garments, the stripes also allow the garments to enhance the enveloping shape on the body. The inspiration from painters’ canvases can be recognized by the iridescent and catalyzing colors. Shaped canvas is made by joining different pieces of fabric, which are also woven separately. The silhouette is unique; the angular shape of the mesh gives a fresh and contrasting optical illusion. The rectilinear series uses two differently colored rectangles of fabric with the goal of creating angular yet graceful lines. We also find the milled, a coat made with the same pattern but with the difference of being woven with the Jacquard machine. In this case the qualities of the print are extremely enhanced, the volume appears generous and the quality soft and comfortable. The latest releases are actually the starting point of the entire collection, square one. The fabrics used feature sharp prints of squares, the shapes become linear and rigid. Square on the other hand is the section dedicated to accessories, bags with an innovative and modern design are characterized by a fabric panel that moves softly following the shape of the body and the movements of the wearer.

ISSEY MIYAKE FW23.

The collection is designed and manufactured using techniques and methods that avoid the production of waste during the entire processes. The focus on rationality thus finds its highest expression in the square, a rational and geometrically perfect element. Satoshi Kondo’s concept instead for Issey Miyake is to expand an idea as precise and mathematical as geometry to the colorful, light, contrasting and irrational world of the Maison.

ISSEY MIYAKE FW23, théâtre du Châtelet.

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