Written by Nash Hill for Idlewild
“Imagine digging out fully grown vegetables from the earth that have stored all the energy underground to grow from seeds and into roots and sprouts. Imagine looking at them and being captivated by their organic, uncultivated shapes and vibrant colors. This collection is dedicated to expressing the qualities of beauty and wonder innate to these wild vegetables.”
The opening excerpt to the ninth issue of “The Narrative of Making,” a magazine published by Issey Miyake, details the inspiration of the brand’s latest collection titled “Sow it and Let it Grow.” The rather literal interpretation of vegetation led designer Satoshi Kondo to explore the nature of plant growth, from the germination of seeds and the growth of roots that twist and turn through the earth to the upward and outward explosion of life upon their blossom.
Referencing these naturalistic themes feels instinctive to the brand as it often employs an intuitive, sculptural approach to each garment that conveys the free, unbounded progress found in the wild. Much of the collection features silhouettes that refer to organic growth, with bulbous shapes and fabrics that extend beyond the body’s true form. One such series in the collection, named ‘PODS’, connects three round pieces with pleats in between that resemble pea pods. These garments are then dyed using the Japanese technique of shiborizome, binding the fabric by hand with various ties and strings that prevent the dye from catching. Another section, aptly named ‘Slice’, examines the cross-section of fruits using the hikizome technique. Done by artisans in Kyoto, the fabric is brushed -by both air and hand- with garment dye that avoids the conventional process of soaking the garment. This process imbues the clothing with intimacy and the reassurance that each piece was tended to carefully. The seamless integration of these traditional techniques with the technological prowess of Issey Miyake articulates a position that positively considers both mass production and the necessity for craftsmanship in contemporary fashion. Many consumers are looking for evidence that their purchase isn’t just another throwaway. They want something with a story- clothing that’s thoughtful.
Even after 50 years, and a rotation of designers, Issey Miyake continues to feel as fresh and innovative as any other major brand. Perhaps the most pertinent reason for this is the brand’s devotion to the development of form. Other houses have struggled with contemporary fashion’s recent inclusion of diverse body-types, yet Issey Miyake’s tendency to adapt with time has offered the brand a newfound sense of cultural relevancy. Pleats Please is a perfect example- there is no compromise between pragmatic design and aesthetic, and the synthesis of these principles culminates in complex yet totally wearable garments. Combining these sentiments with Fall/Winter’s artisanal approach, Issey Miyake continues to deliver clothing that easily integrates into everyday living without sacrificing beauty.
Take a look below at Idlewild’s collection of Issey Miyake pieces from the AW22 season: