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Appreciating Issey Miyake

Apparel, Fashion Finds, Featured, Listings We Love  /   /  By Lily Montasser

Today’s fashion scene is unlike anything we’ve witnessed before. Between the fishnet obsession, bold layering, thousand dollar sweats, and graphic streetwear, 2017 resembles a big, beautiful circus. Yet lost in the hype we tend to forget the old-school designers, the brands that didn’t create trends but instead, works of art. Amidst the madness, we found ourselves wondering: what ever happened to Issey Miyake?

1. vintage ISSEY MIYAKE SS1991 colorblock architectural pleated top skirt set L, $3,299.99

2. Vintage Issey Miyake Plantation Striped Top & Skirt Set Sz M, $685

3. vintage ISSEY MIYAKE grey beige intarsia knit short sleeve sweater top M US8, $429.99

4. RARE Vintage ISSEY MIYAKE Issey Sport Knit Sweater Women’s 1982 size 4 US, $595

5. vintage ISSEY MIYAKE 1980’s striped oversized knitted sweater fringe skirt set M, $3,699.99

6. vintage ISSEY MIYAKE grey tiered ruffle volume sleeves knit sweater top M US8, $699.99

7. vintage ISSEY MIYAKE black blue striped sweater dress JP9 M, $699.99

Avant-garde silhouettes and unconventional textiles are just a few of the things that make Issey Miyake’s designs revolutionary. While it’s important to know the latest trend, it’s also just as important to know the brands that led us there. After his run at Givenchy, the Japanese-born designer started his eponymous line in 1970. Soon after, Miyake began experimenting with unusual materials like plastic, paper, rope, and grass to create unique, artful silhouettes with an “East meets West” influence.

8. 2015SS 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE Sarouel Pants Harem Style Deformed Design Black Size2, $198


10. Issey Miyake 132 5. foil print folding tops size M Japan, $527.86

As a conceptual designer, every brand under Issey Miyake has a method behind its creation. Take 132 5, where he implements a mathematical algorithm to make each garment foldable into a two-dimensional shape similar to a piece of origami.

11. PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE 2D dinosaur floral printed ruffle pleat plisse dress, $1,699.99

12. Rare! PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Kazumasa NAGAI Animal Design Dress Purple Size3, $398

13. Issey Miyake Brown Top Blouse Pleats Please Excellent M Dress Vintage Classic, $358

14. New! 2016SS PLEATS PLEASE ISSEY MIYAKE Desert Plants Jumpsuit Size 3, $438

Or the fan favorite (us included!), Pleats Please. Miyake invented a signature method of pleating and crinkling, creating a collection of individualistic yet completely wearable, everyday pieces.

15. BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKE Metallic Tote Bag, $2,671

16. Issey Miyake BaoBao Jet Pack Backpack (Black; Leather), $1,460

17. Authentic Bao Bao Issey Miyake Tonneau Gloss Bag Deep Green BB76AG211 (R10), $731.40

18. Authentic Issey Miyake Bao Bao Black Planet Bag, $699

Then there’s the famous Bao Bao. It’s a flexible, foldable, moveable collection of bags that create “shapes made by chance”.

19. New with Tags PLEATS PLEASE by ISSEY MIYAKE Pleated Black/Beige Dress, Size 3, $400

20. Like Holiday Sparkles ISSEY MIYAKE 132 5 Origami Skirt Metallic Stripe WEAR ART!, $275

21. NWOT ISSEY MIYAKE Wave Design Top Blouse in Nude, Size 2, $649.99

22. Issey Miyake FETE graphic print irregular pleated skirt multi-size S Japan, $378.03

Has Issey Miyake been forgotten? Certainly not. Just look at contemporary brands like Stella McCartney, who in recent collections showcased pieces inspired by Miyake’s work. And let’s not be remiss in mentioning Steve Jobs’ signature black turtleneck—after striking up a friendship, he designed the infamous piece for which the tech guru became known. With all Issey Miyake‘s far-reaching yet under-the-radar influence, we hope you’ll take a moment peruse and appreciate this unconventionally stunning and incredibly talented designer.

Want more outfit inspiration? We’ve got you covered.

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