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Issey Myake's FW22 collection inspired by the colors of plants

When love of nature and traditional Japanese techniques meet

Issey Myake's FW22 collection inspired by the colors of plants  When love of nature and traditional Japanese techniques meet

«Sow it and let it grow», this is the title of the FW22 collection designed for Issey Miyake by creative director Satoshi Kondo. Following the tradition of the brand, the perfection of the colors and the technical construction of the garments are put at the service of a guiding concept which, this season, was that of the germination of plants. We read in the poem that opens the show notes: «The time has come to see these vegetables for the first time / Fully grown and brought forth from the earth: / Curled, twisted, folded, rolled, braided, all fresh and vibrant. / [...] They are all different, in vivid, bold colors and free, spontaneous shapes. / They are all irregular, and in the irregularity is pride and grace». And although these words seem vague at first glance, the botanical inspiration of the collection was followed by an extremely sophisticated textile technique: from recycled polyester yarns that look like sculptures integrated with translucent fabrics, to seamless knits that can be worn in many different ways, to pleated dresses/coats dyed with the traditional shiborizome technique or hand-drawn Japanese dyes named hikizome performed by Kyoto artisans on dresses, suits and coats. 

The technical highlights of the collection don't stop with the use of single techniques but also the combination of different ones: there is a series of straight-line garments with circles around the neck and waist created by weaving elastic yarns into the fabric in ring shapes and shrinking them during the garment-dyeing process; there are capes inspired by paintings whose fabric is worked with wool on the outside and cotton on the inside, milled and pressed by tightening differently wool and cotton that with the different textures represent the strokes of the original paintings; or even the garments composed by overlapping rectangles of fabric that drape around the body, with the possibility of tying together the corners of the shoulders to create different lines. As you can see, following the tradition of the brand, Kondo has taken his creative process far beyond the simple idea of craftsmanship and savoir faire, manipulating fabric and mixing technology and traditional Japanese processes to expand and explore his concept far and wide.

Being Issey Miyake, however, the collection could not be complete if not seen in motion: it is when they are worn and wrapped around a body that the brand's designs come to life. Here then is filmmaker Yuichi Kodama who takes this botanical concept of plant growth and turns it into a visual storytelling cue: starting from a two-dimensional display of the clothes on a white plane, we see them gradually worn by the performers who first walk in a row, then begin to climb a ladder simulating the rise of the shoots towards the light, showing in the meantime more and more vivid and bright colors, with the designs themselves of the clothes that multiply in complexity simulating the growth of the plant and culminating, then, in a scene full of light.