This Issey Miyake collection, entitled Chromatic Fantasia, was pure joy. The bouncing 'boing!' of an Issey Miyake piece is thanks to the ingenious 'Baked Stretch & Steam Stretch' technique. The girls came out for the finale with beautiful smiles across their faces, as their clothes literally danced with delight.
As well as movement, this collection was all about light. Specifically, the Northern lights, which the show notes described as 'a veil enveloping the sky.' Turning to the mysterious wonders of our planet, Yoshiyuki Miyamae said, 'An abundance of blessings rain down on me. At the edge of exultation and awe.' The first section of the collection gave us lots of super practical outerwear and tailoring options. Inspired by 'the spectacular beauty of the Aurora Borealis', raw wool from Shetland sheep, born and bred under the Northern Lights, was dyed in five colours and combined into a single thread to create linear and voluminous coats woven in the colour of the auroras. The fabrics changed colour depending on which angle you viewed them from. The girls looked ready for an expedition. Hoods, cocoon shapes and belted blanket coats reminded one of the upcoming Expedition: Fashion From the Extremes opening at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology this Autumn.
The house's infamous 'Baked Stretch' technique was dyed with overlapping wave and line patterns so to express 'the powerful energy of electric plasma.' Some really great drop crotch trousers were super desirable. They were timeless everyday pieces that creatives could lounge around in in any studio or office. They curled and swirled, yet looked formal and grown up. There were also incredible 3D jackets that stood from the frame, yet protected and honoured the body in such a way that they looked regal. An AURORAS x Steam Stretch section was stunning. Combining the worlds of nature and technology is something that can only be handled by the very best of designers. It is so tempting to allow either technology or nature to lose out to one another. Here, Miyamae discovered a middle way. The dynamic softness that the designer achieved felt spontaneous yet deliberate, dynamically precise yet low key and free flowing. The hems, collars and edges of dresses and coats, the bottoms of pelmets, and even the way the fabric behaved – in conjunction with fabrics that were woven and steam stretched – created organic lines that were at once light waves, petals, oceans, rivers and the rhythms of the models’ very walk. Even the models’ steps played into things via ISSEY MIYAKE x UN, a shoe project with UNITED NUDE. Two new styles, called WAVE, had soles that change colour depending on the angle they were seen from. The sneaker style of shoe added an easy athletic connection to the collection, which really worked. A piece of live music, entitled Radio Waves, by Ei Wada saw manipulated radio frequencies express the ever-changing lights of our planet’s auroras as sound.