Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I want some Pleats... Please!

Today I spent all afternoon reading about Issey Miyake and designing a windowshop for my visual merchandising class. So now I want to share with you a little bit of what I found out.

Even though Issey Miyake is one of the most important japanese fashion designers, he doesn't like that title and prefers to think he is an artist that uses fabric as medium. He was born in Hiroshima in 1938 and survive the atomic bomb.

While he studied graphic design at the University of Tama in Tokyo, he felt influenced by the images of Richard Avedon, Hiro and Andy Warhol. After finishing his studies he moved to Paris and worked for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy. After that, he went to New York, where he worked with Geoffrey Beene. With all that experience, he went back to Tokyo and founded the Miyake Design Studio.

Pleats Please is one of Miyake's most popular lines and represents one of his most important principles: the true value of a garment is measured by the way it is integrated to everyday life and the comfort it brings to to the person who wears it.

Pleats Please starts in 1993, after Miyake develops a new technique where polyester garments are first cut and sewn 2 or 3 sizes bigger than the final product, and then pleated to permanently retain washboard rows of horizontal, vertical or diagonal knife-edge pleats. The final product is a light, comfortable and colorful garment.

I personally like the idea of beautiful, light and comfortable clothing; and the bright colors do make me a little happier but I still feel they lack some drama. Miyake is not one of my favorite fashion designers but I really admire his continuous research and development of new techniques.

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