PARIS--On my way out of the show preceding Issey Miyake’s Fall 2011 Men’s collection, I stopped some serious fashion editors and asked if I’d see them there? I would not. “He doesn’t do it anymore,” one told me. “He” being Miyake himself, the techno wizard who merged science and fashion to cement his brand as Japan’s finest sartorial export in the 90s. “It’s nothing we haven’t seen,” said another.
I had trouble getting on board with the collection by Dai Fujiwara (who took over as creative director in 2006), but I think these editors missed out, and while the innovation might no longer be at the level it once was (this collection embraced nostalgia, if anything), the brand is still connecting East and West in interesting, if not entirely convincing, ways.
The theme of the collection was “pen” and the défilé centered on young men, arriving in Paris and endeavoring to write, following their stories through the writing instrument as vehicle. While this arriviste isn’t disheveled, his clothes look second-hand: big knits wrap around him and drop past his waist, jackets too; his suits flop around, his trousers billow. Literary Paris is inextricable from the past—J.D. Salinger seeking out Hemingway at the bar that now bears his name—and there are elements of mid-century all over this collection, but the ambitious young writer is also about possibility, and Fujiwara has not forgotten this.
More troublesome than this young man’s writerly ambition is the fact that he seems a little lost. The colors were all over the place, like a true first-timer in Paris, circling the same blocks, looking for the Metro. A green, three-button military-green jacket, the show-stealer, was preceded by a crisp heather grey suit, and followed by a disgruntled looking purple-patterned overcoat.
The effect was a little confused, though, show me a young literary aspirant who isn’t. This one included.
**Photos by Imaxtree.