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Omekashi tokimekashi

Fun Dressing Up [No.1]


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The code-like numbers in the brand name, 132 5. Issey Miyake, represent one piece of fabric making leaps to the third dimension when spread, the second dimension when folded, and the fifth dimension of the blank space when half the width. (The fourth dimension transcends time.) These mysteriously shaped clothes are a departure from the traditional concept of the form or finished shape of clothes when worn. These garments allow the wearer to enjoy the actual process of unfolding and changing their shape.

The intriguing movement is part of the garment’s charm; the origami-evoking shape metamorphoses into an unexpected item when pulled and twisted apart. Refolding the garment is bewildering, but when folded along the permanent-pleats, it will to your surprise easily revert to its two-dimensional shape. When looking at Issey Miyake’s A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) brand, we can clearly see his designs are characterized by planarity. Despite being shaped like Western clothing, these garments are more Japanese-like.

The beautifully shaped planarity when the garment is folded is not only a fresh concept, but also practical for storing and carrying. The recycled polyester fiber used does not deteriorate, no matter how many times it is recycled. In our modern lifestyle, clothes are necessities, but they are more so symbolic. The wastefulness in luxury and high fashion, in fact, shored up prices. The 132 5. Issey Miyake design and products challenge the status quo and have the potential to radically change our relationship with clothing.

Planes and pleats combined give these garments their characteristic shape – a spatial effect when they are expanded into their third dimension. The intensive planarity and abundant crimps wrap the actual bodyline, but do not necessarily hide the whole body. The different ways the pleats spread depend on the body shape. The calculated way the fabric falls gives the garment maneuverability when it sways with the body – hinting at the wearer’s body, and its shape and movement.

When we wrap our bodies in clothes, we apply another surface over our body skin and cover it with an otherness – an extension of ourselves. We are playing with our otherness and creating multiple personalities with different surfaces of clothing. The 132 5. Issey Miyake design is an extension of this trait. Wrapping our body with a flat piece of fabric hides and dilutes its personality and gender; just as evenly painting a face in mat colors makes the face’s individual characteristics and gender ambiguous. However, our individuality is not completely covered. On the contrary, the genius of 132 5. Issey Miyake is the different ways their products fit each body. The art of fabric shows us differing expressions in different dimensions and teaches us that something is still exposed on this second skin layer over our body’s surface.


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No. 3 Top: Folded in a complex, constructive shape, this top is available in an impersonal grey, a subtle red, and rainbow-colored foil to highlight any skin color. Folded, spread out or worn, this top is interesting no matter the shape. (29,400 yen) No. 9 Top: The irregular shape of this skirt-shaped top lends itself to be worn in several ways depending on your mood. (33,600 yen)
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No.1 Dress: This impressive dress rotates and reduces into a rectangle. When worn, the pleats open to give the dress three-dimensional volume. Fasten the snaps in different ways to change the silhouette. (36,750 yen)


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No. 9 Skirt: This skirt beautifully combines persimmon-colored fabric with bronze leafing. The oversized waist tied with a similar belt gives expression to the skirt. (44,100 yen) No. 3 Pants: The distinguishing feature of these spiral pants, which look like a snail cross-section, is the complex, interlaced pleats. The skirt-like long pant legs do not dictate how the pants are to be worn or who wears them. (63,000 yen)

Photography/Satoru Naito (p. 4), Takemi Yabuki “Femme” (p. 5); Text/Kyoko Ozawa

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