PFW: ISSEY MIYAKE S/S 2014

When a designer mentions the source of inspiration for a collection, one can often get a general feel for what is about to come down the runway. However, when said designer simply lists “light” as their inspiration, and that designer happens to be Issey Miyake’s Dai Fujuwara, the world of possibilities is so immense as to seemingly negate the purpose of listing a source of inspiration at all. Then, the first piece comes down the catwalk and everything immediately falls into place.

Since its founding in 1971, the Issey Miyake house has focused on innovation in textiles and using technology to create unique and wearable looks. So, while the white A-line coat might have been a simple piece of structured minimalism in the hands of another designer, Fujuwara perforates the fabric, letting skin show through to tiny holes, so as to emulate pin points of sunlight. The effect is even more pronounced in the asymmetrical skirts of the next two pieces, where the diagonal perforations themselves emulate rays of light.

Fujuwara makes dramatic use of obi belts to reinforce the concept of light rays, even in black. and when he creates pleated folds around the body with white cotton, the aesthetic is almost as though he were folding light itself. The monochrome styling of the first several pieces is stunning enough to have carried the line on its own if need be, but Fujiwara then moves into color, not in solid tones, but it stunning gradients representing the refraction of light that creates those colors. Brilliant reds, blues, and yellows appeared to shimmer under sheer white shifts, practically floating down the runway. He follows those looks with a take on color blocking that mimics the rainbow effect of crystals on white fabrics, creating a look that is stunningly soft and warm.

Issey Miyake is one of those labels more frequently associated with existing in your mother’s wardrobe rather than your own. However, with this beautifully lit collection, I think it would be a mistake for women of any age to leave it out.

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