As guests approached the enchanting Césure space in Paris for the Issey Miyake SS24 show, performers gracefully assumed their positions. Just a year after the passing of the label's founder, Issey Miyake, the house leader, Satoshi Kondo, paid homage to the brand's iconic pleats through an immersive and zenful experience.
The setting, a creation by the artist Yoshihisa Tanaka, comprised pleated paper crafted from natural fibers with a touch of clay. “We see these pieces as membranes that ever move and transform - never by themselves - only as a response ever so sensitive and subjective to the environment” signifying how the installation responded to people passing by or even the subtle shifts in humidity, influenced by human emotions.
Soon, the haunting melodies of bird-like sounds, crafted by the performers, resonated as dancers moved in captivating contrast to the ethereal music. The first model made her appearance, cloaked from head to toe in a black pleat, emphasizing the contours of the body, as if the dress itself were an embrace, gently constraining her form. An ode to the spring-summer 1998 collection, where models elegantly walked in snug dresses with their hands sheltered within.
The collection, an evolution, unfolded like a climax—from form-fitting dresses that traced the body's curves to a burst of color provided by pleated layers of dresses, skirts, and pants, transitioning to oversized jackets and coats. It was as if to suggest that the body was gradually finding its freedom. Within this collection, one could discern opposing forces: the sensuality and fluidity of pleated drapes juxtaposed with the solidity and structure of oversized jackets and coats, featuring broad shoulders.
In this way, the collection underscored our profound connection to nature—initially accentuating the human form, then expanding and enveloping, much like the inexorable force of nature that can both thrive within us and tower over us. As nature as many faces, so does have clothes, Satoshi Kondo masterfully wove these elements into the fabric of this collection, "echoing the relationship between a piece of cloth and the wearer clothed in it”.
The concept of "Grasping the formless" materialized in an immersive voyage through nature and the abstract, which, in turn, found tangible form in the sensual pleats of these garments.