Issey Miyake‘s design team never fails to deliver something fresh, innovative and often unexpected to Paris Fashion Week. But of course there was a little extra anticipation ahead of the brand’s spring 2023 outing on Friday, as it’s the first show since its namesake the founder passed in August.
Chief designer Satoshi Kondo and his team began the show with a moment of silence, showing an image of Miyake on screens around the runway, which was more of an open space through which models walked in various formations. Two white abstract sculptures decorated the room, as did a grand piano, manned by a live DJ who artfully combined electronic and acoustic sounds to accompany the show’s choreography, which began with a simple walk and later developed into a full-on dance routine.
The Spring 2023 collection is a joyous — and beautiful — launch of the ideas and techniques Miyake introduced to fashion: exploring the relationship between fabric and the body, using original materials to weave garments, sometimes from just “one piece of fabric.”
The show notes include a poem titled “A Form That Breathes.” It sounds:
Kneading, cutting and shaping,
Completely with hands and body,
To give rise to a form that is new and free.
The form, once hard, still and silent,
Leaps with ease as it breathes and grows,
Singing in rhythm.
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A form imbued with life, robust and lively,
Not defined, not limited,
Embraces the body, frees the mind.
The show format emphasized fabric and movement. Beginning with more somber black and white looks and evolving to incorporate splashes of peach, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green, each look had something that made you want to watch every step as it went, regardless whether it was strangely beautiful projection, an interesting rise, or an airy, cape-like back.
“We see design as a process driven by curiosity, built on extensive exploration – bringing joy, wonder and hope to life, and of course with a touch of playfulness,” read a quote attributed to “Designer Satoshi Kondo and design team in memory of Issey Miyake.”
The show became more playful as it went on, culminating in an expressive performance by professional dancers, who were later joined by the models for a finale march. They ended up running and frolicking offstage together, smiles on their faces. Joy, wonder and hope were all that remained.
See every look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.