PARIS - Issey Miyake's colorful women's clothes, made from original fabric of elegantly curved pleats, were a highlight of the recent spring/summer 2016 Paris Fashion Week event.
The charming original fabric was made with the process called "Baked Stretch," and seemed to embody the designer's desire to entertain the wearer.
The colors, including vivid reds, greens and yellows, were based on the image of the jungle, and the pleats bounced gracefully as the models walked.
The process involves a special glue that's applied to the fabric, which is then baked in a machine normally used for transferring prints onto cloth. This causes the glued sections to swell up and form shape-memory pleats.
The process also made it possible to produce individually coloured curved pleats in the brand's colour scheme.
In coming up with the idea for the pleating technique, Issey Miyake designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae, 39, said he learned about the swelling glue and then combined it with the concept of baking bread.
Seeking to manufacture a fabric that would enrich people's daily clothing with powerful colors and shapes, Miyamae and his team went through a lot of trial and error, including changing the quantity of the glue and the temperature of the baking machine.
"Making fabrics by baking and steaming is similar to cooking," Miyamae said. "Using different materials and recipes can produce clothes with various flavors. I tried to contrive pleating techniques that are different from the conventional pressing method for straight pleats."
Miyamae also developed the "3D Steam Stretch" technique, where steam is applied to polyester fabric with an unusual texture, causing part of it to shrink and render an elevated geometric pattern.
Jackets and skirts made from the high-tech fabric with cotton and other materials were among the pieces presented at the latest Paris show.
Fashion journalist Tim Blanks said Issey Miyake has been ardent in its research and development, resulting in the brand's special techniques being unrivaled across the world. He also said Miyamae's clothes have a happy, delightful atmosphere, and inimitable quality about them.
Founding designer Issey Miyake insisted that making thread should be the first stage in the manufacturing process. Miyamae, the fourth designer of the brand, said, "I want to develop more new materials and present them as clothing that is comfortable and pleasant to wear."
The clothes on show in Paris are scheduled to go on sale in January, with prices starting at ¥55,000 (S$632.30), excluding tax.
Junya Watanabe excites with washi paper
Junya Watanabe also excited attendees at the latest Paris event with dresses made using traditional Japanese washi paper.
The process involved pasting pieces of washi paper onto very thin silk or polyester and then dissolving the unwanted parts so that what remains renders a pattern, such as leopard print.
The result resembled lace, and particularly caught the eye when combined with a large aluminium accessory.