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The Prism of Issey Miyake

Freedom, joy, and futurism are all pillars of the house that should be explored broadly and fearlessly. Instead, what Yoshiyuki Miyamae produces season after season is average.
By
  • Angelo Flaccavento

PARIS, France — The Miyake show was short and compact, so this review will be, too. The problems with this venerable house are still very evident, as we have stressed over the past few seasons.

It's not a matter of output: what Miyake produces at the moment is perfectly acceptable and keeps the business afloat. Textile innovation is clearly the main drive, and the new "blink" prismatic fabric presented today in bright colour blocks for roomy coats was actually wonderful, as was the wool-like polyester in Sonia-Delaunay-esque patterns.

What the brand lacks is strength. The shows are weak, the clothes are weak and the ideas behind them are weak. Yoshiyuki Miyamae, creative director for womenswear, is a great technician but the scope of his vision is not vast and strong enough to carry Issey's heroic heritage. It is a pity because our bland and derivative fashion era requires the vigour of Miyake. If not him, a valid heir.

Freedom, joy, movement, energy, futurism, connection with nature are all pillars of the house that should be explored broadly and fearlessly. Instead, what Miyamae produces season after season is average, and Miyake cannot be average — there is already enough of that. With its desaturated colours and abstract shapes, this collection seemed to be designed almost on autopilot. Time to move on.

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