Issey Miyake are notorious for their innovative design processes. Last season we saw circular bags that folded out into knitted sculptures adorned upon models, and the Paris crowds were enthralled. It is fair to say that the SS 15 collection had a lot to live up to, but Miyake cracked it yet again.
Guests were greeted with notes from the design house explaining how the latest Miyake invention, 3D Steam Stretch, was created. The waffle-textured material is made by applying steam to a pre-creased fabric to give it extra volume and malleability. The effect was similar to concertina paper with a diamond-shaped motif that could be manipulated to create a plethora of pieces.
A simple white cocoon dress in the steam stretch fabric led the show and the first nine looks were all very clean, simple and well… white. Logically it made sense, we saw experimentations with the waffle fabric in waterfall-lapel jackets, shorts, palazzo-style trousers and even an extremely oversized snood.
Further looks brought more of the Steam Stretch material in shades of toffee, powder blue, aqua, navy and sunflower yellow. Although the fabric was unusual and was used in various different ways, there was the danger of the collection becoming monotonous. However, later looks featured billowing dresses in grid prints accented with colour block detailing and these more vivid pieces set off the earlier architectural items perfectly.
If there is one thing that Issey Miyake does well it is balance. This collection teetered on the edge of becoming dull, and then instantly saved itself with a wave of colour, pattern and visual stimuli. Monochrome square prints were paired with colour blocks of ochre, tan and vermillion in a variety of co-ordinates. Larger greyscale check prints were accented with a hint of aqua blue in relaxed maxi dresses, duster coats and wide-legged trousers.
It seems Miyake have created another collection that will stand the test of time. The question is, how will they outdo themselves next year?