Golden Week and a dream about a blue dress in my suitcase

First of all, May in Japan means the Golden week. Usually it is the first week of May, and due to a number of national holidays falling next to each other, it becomes a week-long holiday for most of Japanese. This period was first named “Golden week” in 1951 by a film industry as the ticket sales were much higher than usual.

It is THE time to travel (if you booked well in advance), but before I pack my suitcase, I owe you an introduction to Issey Miyake.

For a long time, I knew his perfume, but that was about it. Thus, when an exhibition devoted to his lifetime career opened in Tokyo, I went with no particular expectations.

Issey Miyake is a well-known Japanese fashion designer and the exhibition covers 45 years of his career from Tokyo to Paris and back to Tokyo. While photos are not allowed and there are a number of dedicated employees to watch over you, I add a link where you can get an impression.

My take away is the designer’s approach to fabric and the way of sewing. Throughout his career Issey Miyake has been innovating and creating new types of fabric, including from the recycled materials. Another distinctive feature is that a cloth is a “one piece” that folds in a perfect geometric shape. Just for curiosity, in Japan “one piece” is a commonly used word for a dress.

A quick shot in the exhibition shop.

While most designers would first pleat the fabric and then cut and sew, Issey Miyake does the opposite, creating completely different forms and shapes.

The National Art Center Tokyo and a colourful piece from the Pleats Please series.

Whenever you have a chance, do check out his 132.5 series. A cloth (typically, a dress) comes as a two dimensional geometric shape, which is made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate mixed with natural fibers and dyes. It then unfolds into a three dimensional dress and folds back into a perfect two dimensional geometric shape again.  In the exhibition you can try it yourself with several mini models, unfolding, dressing and undress the mannequin, and folding back to the original shape.

I was absolutely amazed and came out in love with one blue dress… Now imagine how perfect it is for traveling, folding nicely, taking a minimum space possible in your suitcase and ready to wear whenever you take it out!

…do you think I could get my Christmas present earlier this year?

A small souvenir…

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