Not many brands out there are as diversified as ISSEY MIYAKE. The famed Japanese-based brand has 12 diffusion lines that stretch out beyond the world of fashion.
While brands like Marc Jacobs and Burberry have had to streamline their portfolios, each of Issey Miyake’s lines are target specific. Looking for avant garde clothing made from just a piece of cloth? Seek out 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE. Interested in the iconic foldable bags made with triangular chips? They can be found under the BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKE moniker.
With HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE, the premise is equally as straightforward. Just as the name suggests, the line focuses entirely on pleated fabrics that are crafted in Issey Miyake’s patented garment-pleating process as well as the more commonly used method of pleating fabrics before sewing them together.
The carefully thought out process of pleating is a trademark for which designer Issey Miyake has long been lauded. But it is still underappreciated for its application beyond aesthetics. The ridges formed by pleating each fabric create spaces for pockets of air, which enhances the breathability of the clothes.
The pleated construction is put to full effect in creating active fashion for HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE. Combined with the use of quick-drying and wrinkle-resistant fabrics as well as fluid silhouettes inspired by Japan’s rich culture and heritage, the collections are made for comfort and ease of movement.
In fact, before its launch in 2013, Issey Miyake staged a performance with the Aomori University Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. The 27-strong team was outfitted in his pleated creations and performed a diverse range of high-octane gymnastic feats.
It was an exaggerated introduction but provided a strong case for pleats in active fashion. If trained gymnasts were able to continue doing flip after flip in them without breaking a seam, there remains no reason why they cannot work for less intensive wear.
HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE is a fashion brand in the traditional sense with seasonal collections and themes. But essentially, the silhouettes are kept consistent. You’d see things like kimono-inspired coats season after season but reinterpreted in fresh ways. There’s also a core line of basics – cardigans, vests, blazers and more – in monochromatic shades all year round with additional monthly releases in new colours.
For example, spring/summer 2017 was inspired by ukiyo-e, a wood-block printing technique developed during the Edo Period. The result is a range of block and striped prints that appear to be painted on the clothes by hand. Couple that with the architectural construction of the pleats, and this season’s collection is truly artistic.
The line between form and function can only be blurred when an artist or a designer is able to combine both without cannibalising on one or the other. Issey Miyake has undoubtedly succeeded.
HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE is available at L1-17 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.