“As a result of bearing witness to the May 1968 Revolution in Paris, I had a revelation that changed my vision of clothes-making forever,” says Issey Miyake. “I realized that clothing, from here on, needed to appeal to a wider audience than that of yesterday’s haute couture. I knew I needed to find ways by which to create clothing that would be integral to people’s lives and be designed to suit their lifestyles.”
The experimental Japanese designer has been doing just that, showing his cerebral collections in Paris since the 70s. In the 1980s, Miyake stepped up his extracurricular pursuits, launching his Pleats Please line of geometric basics in 1988, partnering with Dai Fujiwara — creative director of Issey Miyake since 2007 — on A-POC in 1998, and completing the Issey Miyake Foundation with architect Tadao Ando in 2007. He even created the black turtlenecks Steve Jobs was never seen without. All the while he’s remained active in his namesake label, from which he officially retired in 1999.
Now comes 132 5, a clothing line that delves deeper into mathematics and technology. For spring 14, Miyake worked with the architecture firm MVRDV and the product designers at Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to create a repeating grid formation made from recycled polyester. Far from the form-hugging bias cut, this grid clothing drapes across the body in unusual ways, becoming complex shirts, skirts, pants, and one-piece dresses. The effect brings together 60s futurism, a la André Courrèges, and a modern unisex shapelessness.