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Hosted at Paris’s grandiose sixteenth-century Hôtel de Ville in its vast mirroring ceremonial chamber, the setting for this season’s Issey Miyake offering was already amply theatrical. The display was accompanied by Ei Wada’s “Radio Waves,” a crescendo of extra-terrestrial noises and eerily entrancing radio waves. It was an ideal musical counterpart to the brand’s blending of the natural world and the futuristic.
Miyake’s elasticated, springy fabrics, steamed or baked to wobble becomingly into minute pleats, are always a treat to experience. What the brand calls its “Baked Stretch” is obtained when glue is brushed onto fabric and baked. Its “Stream Stretch” look is created when steam is applied to heat-reactive thread, making the fabric shrink and pucker into shimmering watered pleats.
The motif of Aurora Borealis was the overall thematic inspiration behind this ethereal eye-catching collection but many of the later dresses were distinctly floral with their outsized petal collars, multi-layered leaf-like lapels, and lobed hems. The color range was also mesmerizing, with its soft-spoken blue-purples and maroons, its muted autumn solar golds.
This feeling of layered, pleated multiplicity was enhanced by the gradually increased presence of the models on the runway. By the end of the show, there were up to six models at any given time on the catwalk, interweaving with each other in anticipation of the final profusion of the line-up.