Issey Miyake

pleats please

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake (b. 1938) is a Japanese fashion designer. He is known for his technology-driven clothing designs, exhibitions and fragrances. Miyake was born in Hiroshima; as a seven year-old, he witnessed and survived the nuclear bomb. He studied graphic design at the Tama Art University in Tokyo, graduating in 1964. After graduation, he worked in Paris and New York City. Returning to Tokyo in 1970, he found the Miyake Design Studio. In the late ’80s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production.

This eventually resulted in a new technique called ‘garment pleating’ and in 1993’s ‘Pleats Please’ in which the garments are cut and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric’s ‘memory’ holds the pleats and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are ready-to wear. He had a long friendship with Austrian-born pottery artist Dame Lucie Rie. She bequeathed to him her substantial collection of ceramic and porcelain buttons, which he integrated into his designs and presented them in new collections.

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