Issey Miyake, the groundbreaking Japanese fashion designer and favorite of the museum’s costume lab, has died at the age of 84.

Issey Miyake, one of the leading fashion designers of the late 20th century, has died at the age of 84.

Miyake is the innovative leader of a diverse group of Japanese designers who have changed the face of haute couture and high-street dress over the past 40 years, helping to make contemporary fashion a staple of costume institutes and museum retrospectives. Did. Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo, Jr. His Watanabe, and the late Kenzo Takada have each created a mix of minimalist poise and history-savvy couturier craftsmanship, underpinned by a respect for structural beauty. Brought to the clothes in a unique way. The charm of kimono and the power of traditional Japanese calligraphy and tattoo art.

Especially in the 1980s, Miyake’s work served as a painterly and wearable antidote to a global fashion and entertainment world dominated by permanent excesses such as padded shoulders, flashy colors and thick hair. It worked.

Miyake made a name for himself as a master of pleats, reviving lost art perfected in silk by Mariano Fortuny in the 1930s. In particular, his 1994 Flying His Saucer His Dress exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York made headlines. Postponement of the 150th Anniversary Exhibition About Time: Fashion and Duration But Miyake, who did not mind the cost and impracticality of haute couture, brought this aspect of his work to the high street in 1993 with the Pleated Pleated Garment (now a collector’s item) made from heat-treated polyester. I brought it to Create a truly unisex, permanently pleated, free-flowing, one-size-fits-all garment. In 1997, Miyake created another customer-friendly concept, “A Piece of Cloth” (A-POC). This made it possible to create your own clothes from tubes of fabric by cutting along pre-knitted dotted seams.

Miyake made another splash by offering his trademark polyester-cotton turtleneck to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The nibbled apple logo and the curved corners of the iPhone. When Jobs visited Japan in the 1980s, he was impressed by the practical chic of the gray uniforms worn by Sony employees, and the company’s chief, Akio Morita, told Jobs that Miyake designed them. rice field. Jobs didn’t get much attention when he suggested Apple staffers might wear something similar, but as Jobs explained to biographer Walter Isaacson: The referral paid off. Made me like a hundred… Enough for me to live the rest of my life. ”

Miyake was born in Hiroshima, Japan in 1938. He survived when the United States Air Force dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 while he was still in school, but his mother died of radiation sickness three years later. In 2009, Miyake, long reluctant to be labeled as a designer who survived the atomic bombing, wrote a powerful editorial. about his experience new york timesIn it, he invited then-U.S. President Barack Obama to visit the city to demonstrate his commitment to the abolition of nuclear weapons. “When I close my eyes, there is a bright red light, black clouds appear soon after, and people are running in all directions, desperately trying to escape.”

In the same article, he revealed how this traumatic experience made him decide to move on. “I gravitated towards the field of clothing design,” he writes. After studying design in Tokyo, he moved to Paris in the 1960s and worked with couturiers Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy. In 1970, he established the Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo and presented his first collection in New York the following year.

Miyake had a longstanding connection with art and artists. In Paris he discovered the works of Alberto Giacometti and Constantin Brancusi, which greatly impressed him. In New York in the late 1960s, he befriended Robert Rauschenberg and Christo. He became an admirer of the Vienna-born English potter Lucy Lee, whom he happened to meet when he opened a book on pottery in a London bookstore.He organized the 1989 exhibition Issey Miyake meets Lucy Rie describes it as an homage to the emotional contact he felt with the artist in Tokyo and Osaka. said. trend“All the pieces were on display, floating on the surface of a huge rectangular pool. It featured an overcoat with part of an array of buttons. When Rie died in 1995, she left her collection of ceramic buttons to Miyake.

From 1996 to 1998 Miyake held a guest artist series. In this series, contemporary artists such as Yasumasa Morimura used durable pleated clothes as canvases.Morimura’s work forges an elaborate and daring relationship with the nude figure at the center of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Inglés’ painting of 1856. La SourceFor Miyake, the point was that the piece wasn’t complete until this artistically printed jersey dress was worn by a third party. “When I make something, it’s only half finished. When people use it for years and years, it’s finished,” he said.

In 1997, Miyake handed over the business, which had expanded into fragrances and other products, including L’eau d’Issey, to others, and his interest in connections inspired him to explore new fabrics and production techniques. devoted to Between technology and creativity. As well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, his clothes are in the collections of institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Denver Museum of Art, where Miyake and Yamamoto’s work is displayed alongside traditional Japanese clothing. It has been. The cool elegance of Miyake’s creations is well suited for photography. And his first fifteen years of work in his atelier are captured in a sumptuously cool monograph. Issey Miyake & Miyake Design Studio 1970-1985 (Works Words Years) (1985).A landmark retrospective of his work Held at the National Art Center, Tokyo in 2016, it covered 45 years of his design work.

The positive streak that initially drew Miyake to making clothes as modern and optimistic has stuck with him. “Clothing is Japanese for clothes” he said. clothes means happinessAnd maybe I’m trying to make clothes, happy, for people. and for myself. ”

  • Issey Miyake; Born April 22, 1938 in Hiroshima. Died in Tokyo on August 5, 2022.

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