Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima in 1938, 7 years before the city was bombed by the US and 10 years before his mother's death was caused by radiation exposure. Miyake graduated from the Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1965 and afterward studied with the Japanese designer Kenzo Takada at a tailoring and dressmaking school in Paris. Miyake began working as an apprentice under the French designer Guy Laroche, and two years later at Givenchy. He also briefly worked in New York with the American designer Geoffrey Beene before returning to Tokyo to open the Miyake Design Studio in 1970. After a friend in New York showed one of his design samples to Vogue magazine and Bloomingdale's, Miyake was given a small section in the store where he sold t-shirts dyed with Japanese tattoo designs and coats embroidered using the sashiko sewing technique used to strengthen fabric worn by workers. In the 1980s, Miyake's work was associated with the architectural styles of Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. Some of his most famous designs come from his line Pleats Please that he began in 1993. Miyake reversed the traditional creation of pressed pleats, first cutting and assembling a garment twice to three times its actual size and then folding, ironing, and oversewing the material to keep the lines permanently in place. Garments are then pressed between sheets of paper to create Miyake's characteristic pleated effect. Miyake's work includes references to Japanese history and culture while also experimenting with material and process. He has worked with the durable quilted fabric used for Judo uniforms and farmers' clothes, the kimono style coat Tanzen, and constructed "grid" bodies made from 365 pieces of laser cut and woven corrugated cardboard acrylic plastic. Miyake is just as much an architect and inventor as he is a designer. His concept of APiece-of-Cloth (A-POC), or garments consisting of a single piece of cloth to clothe the body, allowed consumers to cut and create a variety of clothes without wasting material. Miyake's other imaginative methods include heat taping and cutting by ultrasound. Issey Miyake has also expanded his materials and techniques to keep ancient traditions, like paper-making, alive. Miyake's business is still privately owned. He is unique in his simultaneous loyalty to modernity and tradition; his innovative use of technology and industry coexists with a deep appreciation for local craft and the handmade.

Issey Miyake

A Synchrony of Past and Future

08-15-21

Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima in 1938, 7 years before the city was bombed by the US and 10 years before his mother's death was caused by radiation exposure. Miyake graduated from the Tama Art University in Tokyo in 1965 and afterward studied with the Japanese designer Kenzo Takada at a tailoring and dressmaking school in Paris. Miyake began working as an apprentice under the French designer Guy Laroche, and two years later at Givenchy. He also briefly worked in New York with the American designer Geoffrey Beene before returning to Tokyo to open the Miyake Design Studio in 1970. After a friend in New York showed one of his design samples to Vogue magazine and Bloomingdale's, Miyake was given a small section in the store where he sold t-shirts dyed with Japanese tattoo designs and coats embroidered using the sashiko sewing technique used to strengthen fabric worn by workers. In the 1980s, Miyake's work was associated with the architectural styles of Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. Some of his most famous designs come from his line Pleats Please that he began in 1993. Miyake reversed the traditional creation of pressed pleats, first cutting and assembling a garment twice to three times its actual size and then folding, ironing, and oversewing the material to keep the lines permanently in place. Garments are then pressed between sheets of paper to create Miyake's characteristic pleated effect. Miyake's work includes references to Japanese history and culture while also experimenting with material and process. He has worked with the durable quilted fabric used for Judo uniforms and farmers' clothes, the kimono style coat Tanzen, and constructed "grid" bodies made from 365 pieces of laser cut and woven corrugated cardboard acrylic plastic. Miyake is just as much an architect and inventor as he is a designer. His concept of APiece-of-Cloth (A-POC), or garments consisting of a single piece of cloth to clothe the body, allowed consumers to cut and create a variety of clothes without wasting material. Miyake's other imaginative methods include heat taping and cutting by ultrasound. Issey Miyake has also expanded his materials and techniques to keep ancient traditions, like paper-making, alive. Miyake's business is still privately owned. He is unique in his simultaneous loyalty to modernity and tradition; his innovative use of technology and industry coexists with a deep appreciation for local craft and the handmade.

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