As usual, the graphic design background of Issey Miyake was the driving force of this Spring 2014 collection. First there was the live performance by Ei Wada, who created music using light-up TV screens at the start of the runway. Then, there were the clothes. At first glance, one might see a leaning toward minimalism in designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae's silhouettes, but upon closer inspection, you can see each piece featured the types of textile manipulation at the very core of the brand. A series of pants had a three-dimensional grid effect and leather skirts punched with tiny holes seemed to radiate, all thanks to — according to show notes — a "stream stretch" technique. And where other clothes might feel overwrought by this level of innovation, the pieces looked truly effortless. And downright comfortable. Even the models, who meandered the runway in groups, looked positively happy to be wearing them.
The models in Yoshiyuki Miyamae's Fall 2013 show for Issey Miyake did something we haven't seen many models in Paris do: they smiled. But who wouldn't be happy wearing the brightly colored mix of checks that Miyamae proposed as an antidote to the dreary gray of Winter? The designer, seemingly inspired by the Scottish Highlands, fused tartan, houndstooth, and the Prince of Wales check that so many of his compatriots have used this season together, then blew them up into oversize prints and filtered them through a technicolor palette of bright blue, pink, orange, and green. Black and gray made appearances, notably in a fur coat and a check coat with black piping, but perhaps the most interesting pieces were the colorful trousers with bites of houndstooth hidden in the pleats.
Yoshiyuki Miyamae's Spring 2013 show for Issey Miyake brought us something we haven't seen very much in Paris this week: models smiling. Whether their grins came from the brightly colored and patterned dresses they were wearing or the entertaining zigzag pattern Miyamae asked them to walk in remains unclear. What we do know is that this offering is among the most vibrant we've seen all week, combining loud blocks of color with diagonal stripes for an effect that even the most stalwart minimalists would find eye-catching. Buyers no doubt appreciated how Miyamae's use of color created different feelings: blue trousers with white tuxedo stripes looked very sportif, while the black and white pieces were plenty trendy and plenty sophisticated.
Those stories and more in our daily news roundup.
- According to Milan Fashion Week schedulers, Gucci will open the Spring 2013 shows in that city on Sept. 19. Giorgio Armani, who normally closes the week, will instead show midway through on Sept. 23, prompting some to believe that he has different plans for the end of the week. [The Cut]
- Amber Valletta stars in Pucci's very first ad campaign, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggot. [Design Scene]
- For the first time in five seasons, Oscar de la Renta's ad campaign doesn't involve Karlie Kloss. Instead, the brand's Fall 2012 ads feature Candice Swanepoel and Katryn Kruger. [Fashion Gone Rogue]
- Issey Miyake will release a fragrance called Pleats Please. It will hit Austria next month, but it won't hit the United States until 2013. [WWD]
- What's Michael Kors's favorite escape? The beach. "If I could, I'd burn every shoe I own." But will he drink beer on the beach? "Sure! I’m American — why not?" [Daily Front Row]
Above: The finale of Gucci's Fall 2012 show.
>> For Issey Miyake Fall 2012, Yoshiyuki Miyamae took the concept of "tech" fabric to a whole new level. The designer made use of a recently-developed material called steam-stretch, which — as the name implies — snaps into a predetermined shape when it meets the steam of an iron. It's a neat trick, one that Miyamae showed off at the start of today's show with a team of iron-wielding assistants who steam-shaped fabric into crinkle-pleated dresses and gowns right there on the runway.
But steam-stretch — and its accompanying theatrics — was only part of the story. Also on offer were some surprisingly straightforward tailored pieces, as well as a boatload of innovative outerwear; a two-tone waffle-weave coat in a funnel-necked silhouette was refreshing in its simplicity, and a mesh jacket that had been stuffed with multicolor wads of fabric was a fun take on the classic puffer.
Pink Eyelashes and Stuck-Out Tongues — Backstage at Givenchy, Viktor & Rolf, John Galliano, Costume National, and Issey Miyake
>> Color seeped into beauty looks at Issey Miyake and Viktor & Rolf — in the form of long pink eyelashes at the latter; Gisele Bundchen stuck her tongue out — more than once — backstage at Givenchy; plus, see appearances by Miranda Kerr, Erin Wasson, and Naomi Campbell as you flip through the latest backstage snaps from those shows, John Galliano, and Costume National.
Photos by Greg Kessler
>> Stefano Pilati may be staying put at Yves Saint Laurent, but another Paris Fashion Week-showing label is experiencing a change of designers: Dai Fujiwara is stepping down from Issey Miyake after the house's Fall 2011 show on March 4. With five years in his pocket as Miyake's creative director, Fujiwara wishes to take "the next step forward in his career," according to the statement; he will, however, support the Miyake design team through the Spring 2012 presentation. His replacement is expected to be announced next month. [Vogue UK]
In February, Miyake is launching L’Eau d’Issey Florale, which is designed for younger women and is designed to a still-green rosebud and "the scent of flower on a woman’s skin." Kors, on the other hand, is going to the beach, specifically Palm Beach ($62), which Michael calls the closest thing America has to Capri. "In Palm Beach, people wear fine jewelry to the beach club and a crystal-encrusted bikini is considered a basic," he told WWD. "What's not to love?" The scent, although neither rhinestone-covered nor full of crushed diamantes, does have notes of pink grapefruit, sweet orange, jasmine, pepper, rum, black tea, and vanilla. I'd be interested to try both, but are you excited about either of these?