PARIS, France — Issey Miyake is one of the most enduringly innovative, radical designers in recent fashion history. A resolute futurist with a humanist mind, he has produced powerful pieces over the years that are rooted in an ancestral approach to clothing yet light years ahead. But the label that bears Miyake's name currently looks rather weak. Since the designer stepped back from designing the brand, a roster of scions have taken over the creative direction, none of them as gutsy and daring as Miyake himself. The label has sailed successfully (at least commercially) through years, but the appeal, somehow, got lost along the way and the radical style turned into a formula.
Today's show was a case in point. Designer Yusuke Takahashi worked around the richness of sensations in urban life — a decidedly Miyake trope. Shapes were generous and abstract, fabrics were at the state of the art, colors muted with a few bright peaks. Nothing was really out of place, yet nothing really delivered a punchy blow. Lukewarm is an adjective that should never be applied to Mr Miyake's work. This collection felt lukewarm.