Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

This week’s design inspiration post is about Issey Miyake, a Japanese fashion designer. He is known for his technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances.

In the 1980s, Issey Miyake began to experiment with new methods of pleating that allow both flexibility of movement as well as ease of care and production. This resulted in a new technique called garment pleating in 1993’s Pleats Please in which the garments are cut and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric’s ‘memory’ holds the pleats and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are ready-to wear.

Pleats Please demonstrates the development and evolution of traditional techniques of processing and of pleating material into a highly functional modern products.

Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

The Bao Bao Bag

My favorite handbag design ever has also designed by him: the Bao Bao Bag, which is comprised of repeated triangular pieces.

Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

He designed knitwear, too.

Knitwear Design by Issey Miyake

The last two pictures shows my favorite Issey Miyake design when it comes to knitwear: an ensemble created in 1984, made out of a blend of cotton, acrylic, acetate, and nylon.

Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

A masterpiece in dropped stitches.

Design Inspiration: Issey Miyake

Over the next weeks, I’m going to try recreating this ensemble and try to work out a pattern for this design inspiration. Regarding the yarn choices I think of using linen and silk blends, maybe something in the collections of Ito Yarns or Habu Textiles.

“Design is not for philosophy—it’s for life.” (Issey Miyake)

Issey Miyake in collections of the Met Museum

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