Issey Miyake, fashion designer known for his futuristic and eco-responsible clothes perfectly adapted to modern life – obituary

Indeed, for Miyake, art was as important as the opportunities offered by technology. In 1982, a dress he created from rattan vines made the cover of Artforum magazine. “It was unheard of for a garment to be featured in an art magazine,” he recalls. In 1988, he was the first fashion designer to have a personal exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. And in 1995, he produced jackets and coats which, when the models spread their arms, opened up into rectangles and squares, giving them the appearance of abstract paintings.

But the overall goal remained, in his words, “to make clothes that are worn by people in the real world.” Hence the use of polyester for garments that could be machine washed, packed in a suitcase and picked up later to look as pristine as when they were first put away.

Clothing, he believed, should not restrict body movement, and in this regard he drew inspiration from the kimono worn in his native Japan. Miyake once said, however, “A lot of people repeat the past. I am not interested. I prefer evolution. And his constant pursuit of innovation informed by traditional craftsmanship has led him to explore the use of a bewildering variety of materials, including paper, rubber, bamboo, plastic bottle caps, rattan and even egg cartons.

In the early 90s, Miyake introduced his famous Pleats Please line, which featured his signature technique. Materials developed from a single thread had pleats added after the garments were sewn into shape. These garments are lightweight, wrinkle-resistant and easy to pack, and retain their rows of horizontal, vertical or sharp folds.

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