There’s not much chat about Japan at the moment. You used to hear it on the circuit: Japan pushing the boundaries of fashion, producing edgier designers, pioneering technology. What happened? It seems the country has taken the Issey Miyake approach of being inherently cool and not in need of self-promotion.
Today, true to the above, designer Yusuke Takahashi showed a relaxed, nonchalant and down to earth collection that was not without the cool factor. Much less fussy than previous seasons, his tight edit of 35 looks shows a newfound confidence in his curation as a designer. He built out the collection with casual staples — a nod to the street trend on first glance — which came off as business-casual. The press release acknowledged, “The boundaries between work, leisure, privacy have become blurred”.
Inspired by the desire for light and lightness, Takahashi was playful in his relaxed use of volume. True to the Issey Miyake DNA, oversized jackets, billowy tie track pants and button up shirts all made an appearance, yet the sculptural silhouettes that die-hard fans know and love were nowhere to be seen. With a neutral base palette and regular navy intervals, pops of colour arrived via rainbow striped tops, statement orange and baby blue knits.
Experiments with print, tie-dye, stripes and backgammon stamps, struck a chord. The combination print and colour wouldn’t normally stand with neutrals, but somehow did, producing a collection that came together somewhat effortlessly. 1960’s tinted sunglasses, beanies and informal sandals all cemented the point that calm, casual and collected is now part of the Issey Miyake vocabulary. Or at least for Spring Summer ’19.