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Universe of Fashion: Issey Miyake


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For almost 5 decades, Issey Miyake has been pioneering the concept of modern Japanese heritage in fashion. As a survivor of post World War II trauma, Issey Miyake was born into the destruction of his country and participated in its rise and redemption. After his studies, Miyake would travel to Paris then New York to accumulate experiences and ideas to build his fashion empire. His Western travels would land him back in Tokyo, where he established his namesake brand that would ultimately revolutionize Japanese fashion and global fashion as a whole. Miyake has spent the past 5 decades reinforcing his design motifs: texture, shape, fabric, proportions, and technology. He blends these motifs with his equilibrium balance of Eastern and Western heritage. Miyake often references his Western experiences but never forgets his Eastern roots, creating a different world for his garments to exist in.

The commercial success of Issey Miyake has never tampered with the design foundations of the legacy brand. His groundbreaking Pleats collection, first introduced in 1989, are still fashion essentials for every woman's and men’s wardrobe every season in the 21st century. Miyake’s fascination with industrial processes and manufacturing has influenced his designs and their futuristic technological elements. His collections not only look phenomenal, they also serve technical purposes for the individual and their style. Images from Universe of Fashion vividly showcase the beauty of Miyake’s designs and his intricate creative expression through clothing. The way each fabric and material lays on the body and stack on each other is intentional and purposeful, as if Miyake is designing for the future. That explains why Issey Miyake is such a pioneer of modern day fashion. His curiosity is never satisfied.

The book begins with extensive insight on Issey Miyake’s perspectives on various aspects of life, such as the commercialization of fashion, the perceptions of space, and the contradictions of the Western world. It offers a very genuine and candid perspective on Miyake’s upbringing and beliefs, which helps humanize him while still shining a spotlight on his innovative design processes. The biographies are complimented by a series of editorial images that emphasizes the ethos of Issey Miyake. Colorful garments are juxtaposed with abrasive shapes and extensive drapes. Every single piece shown in Universe of Fashion all share the same foundational pillars of Issey Miyake: texture, shape, fabric, proportions, and technology. They all contribute to the timelessness of Issey Miyake’s legacy and heritage.

Writer: Art V.

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