PFW: ISSEY MIYAKE SPRING/SUMMER 2019

Issey Miyake SS19

What would you say if I told you it is possible to have a set of clothes in your closet that never look exactly the same from one wearing to the next? What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about a little bit of weight gain over the winter making your summer clothes not fit, or being able to style a dress prim and proper while your parents are visiting then all sexy and provocative when you go out after they leave? Would that be exciting? I hope so because that day is here thanks to Issey Miyake.

He calls the proprietary fabric Dough Dough because, as the name suggests, it is 100 percent malleable. While the dress has a basic shape when one buys it, you have the ability to tweak and alter the fabric every time you wear it, even while you’re wearing it! As models made their finale walk, they were pulling and molding each other’s dresses to create all new silhouettes right there on the runway. When applied to accessories, a handbag becomes a hat (assuming one isn’t carrying the kitchen sink inside) and a wide-brimmed hat can be made pointed on top should one suddenly feel their inner witch starting to emerge.

What Miyake has done is create a fabric with a urethane mesh to which the textile is secured, presumably through some form of heat-infused process to prevent it from coming loose over time. This gives the person wearing the garment total control over whether the piece fits closely or loosely at any given point on the body. If one doesn’t like the shape of an attached bow, one can change it to look totally different. If one wants the hem shorter, it contracts, and stays, exactly where you put it.

The collection is essentially a proof of concept. Miyake presented the fabric as part of his take on the handcrafted history of fashion, something that has been very strong and pointed throughout this season. There are only a couple dozen looks done in the fabric and the Dough Dough isn’t necessarily applied across the entire garment. While the company is being understandably secretive about the details, one has to assume, simply from a matter of applied physics, that the initial process of creating the fabric is expensive and time-consuming. However, as with most anything else, mass production could dramatically lower the price and make it more accessible for designers around the world should Miyake choose to license it.

Here are a few samples from the collection.

Should Dough Dough prove successful, this is immediately a game changer for the world of fashion. The textured fabric is a bit rough, likely thanks to the urethane mesh, but with some refinement and time that could possibly change. Miyake was being tight-lipped about the details, which makes perfect sense at this juncture. He needs to see how women respond to the fabric and how well it holds up to everyday wear and tear before investing the millions of dollars necessary to take Dough Dough to its most far-reaching potential. He won’t commit to licensing the fabric at this point but if women take to wearing it not licensing the product would feel almost criminal and go very much against Miyake’s generous nature.

In a season where we’ve seen so many uninspiring and copycat looks come down different runways, to finally see something so incredibly creative and different is exciting. This is exactly the level of innovation that fashion needs to kick it off the high center that has kept it stalled for so long. Give women the ability to adjust silhouettes to fit their own bodies and we could see fashion go places we never imagined before.

Issey Miyake is a genius. Let’s hope that Dough Dough lives up to its potential and changes everything we know about fashion.

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