Issey Miyake’s creative director Kondo-san introduced his SS 22′ collection to the press, buyers, and VIP clients in an intimate setting in Maison’s Parisian showroom. Set as a digital presentation, it started with models standing tall on things we usually attribute to pool days, such as stairs and ladders. The first two looks are neutral colour-blocking dresses in shades of white and black with the star trend of the season: cutouts. The second look is more intriguing than the first, as one cutout is placed on the top, accentuating the right amount of cleavage, as the other holes were rightly placed on the skirt. “A Voyage in Descent” officially starts as the model, standing on the diving platform, wearing the grey swim cap with matching swimsuit, jumps, and suddenly we dive into what we would call “Underwater cities” or “Cities in Pool.” The creative director’s sense of aesthetic is highlighted as it progresses through movement and the model’s formation walking through grey hallways.
The building’s curve with the straight lines added zest to the clothes, as they were both enticing and inspiring.
Divided into seven categories, Kondo’s artistic side and inspiration shine through in the “Wavelet” series with the silver-white dress with a collar that looks like a scarf. The beauty is in the placement of pleats that turn a simple garment into a chic, precious dress! Although they would not be flattering on everyone because of the roundness the pleats provide, the model looked radiant, and we could see women wearing it in the South of France or the Hamptons. The white dress made of gather and wrinkles hugged the body in all the right places and sat on top of flared pants right above the ankles. In a sequence of outwear for Spring, titled “Carved”, corporate looks were integrated as one model walked down some stairs in a building that resembled a metro station, with a white peplum button-down shirt, under a black vest paired with cigarette pants. Kondo adds personality to classic looks, with the monochromatic sky grey suit with a side cutout and a leather fanny pack placed right under. That accessory was seen in various tones, and although ordinary and minimal, they were chic. Thanks to its colour combo of the mustard yellow dress, green coat, and lavender flats, we loved the following look. However, the most exciting item in the entire collection is the pleated clutch inspired by waves; a genuine work of art and a conversation piece. The cotton-linen looks in lavender, light yellow, and dark beige are great casual articles that one can easily add to their wardrobe.
The collection feels like quantum jumps into distinct realities as we leap into the “Swimming” category of printed patterns inspired by waves and creatures from the deep sea in rayon fabric, made with a Naki-technique. Produced with recycled polyester fibres, the short asymmetrical black dress with the ripple effect print in hues of blue, yellow, and beige representing water and waves is the perfect Saturday morning dress for a stroll to your favourite farmer’s market. Next, the “Link Ring” series, featuring the opening look of the video, but this time in bright colours, are placed on the floor. Hand-pleated garments, folded through the pleats, in pink/blue and green combo and their original shades of neutral graceful moved around the darkroom. The most tantalizing of them all, a dark blue open back swimsuit paired with the pleated skirt in yellow, lavender, and the same tone of blue placed in the middle, was noticeable and stood out even amid the explosive hues around it. We cannot think of a better outfit suitable for a yacht party somewhere in the Mediterranean sea.
Movement, perspective, and art were observed through dance, poses, and skating. There is an easiness and lightness to Kondo’s clothes that are perfectly represented in the “Fluidity Loop” section. But it is in the headpieces made of a swim cap and fringy tubes in the “Swimming Hue” group that we find expansiveness in this Issey Miyake collection as the accessory is highly editorial. Especially in baby blue and paired with the fuchsia crossed neckline maxi dress with side pockets. The video ends on a note of serenity in bliss, as a girl dress in a white two-piece horizontal pleats attire stands on a river, but also underwater near a beautiful green landscape.
– Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre