Satoshi Kondo and his design team literally started with a black square on a white piece of paper, which they folded, pleated and otherwise transformed to help conjure up Issey Miyake’s artful, elegant lineup for fall. The collection was called “The Square and Beyond.”
The exploratory process helped them obtain new shapes and forms.
“This collection is something that introduces a new sense of ‘ma,’” said Kondo, using the Japanese word that can refer — in the context of fashion — to the negative space between a garment and its wearer. “There’s a different relationship between the clothing and the people.”
Kondo experimented with knits, for one. The top of a black-and-white dress began as a knitted square that was pulled and pushed into an organic, irregular shape looping around one shoulder. Its skirt, also beginning as a square, was of a woven recycled polyester fabric, draping down in folds.
The designer played with intentional shrinkage of fabrics, too. Some garments had checked patterns, alternating between flat and squishy 3D squares, thanks to shrinking yarn woven into a grid in material prior to processing. A turquoise, black and gray minidress had this effect.
“There’s always elements or traces of squares still remaining in each piece,” said Kondo. “But only if you look really closely.”
This was a season of contrasting colors, including red and gray, and popping hues such as banana. These helped highlight the fascinating shape-shifting — take the seamless knit bodysuit in violet with angular shapes sprouting from the hips and ankles.
Shown at the Théâtre du Chatelet, Issey Miyake’s fashion show had as an audio backdrop a live marimba rendition of Simeon ten Holt’s “Canto Ostinato,” by the Trio SR9. That is the same music Kondo listened to while creating the clothes.