Issey Miyake's design team never fails to deliver something fresh, innovative and, often, unexpected at Paris Fashion Week. But there was, of course, a little extra anticipation ahead of the brand's Spring 2023 outing on Friday, it being the first show since its namesake founder passed in August.
Head designer Satoshi Kondo and his team began the show with moment of silence, displaying an image of Miyake on screens surrounding the runway, which was more of an open space through which models walked in various formations. Two white abstract sculptures decorated the space, as did a grand piano, manned by a live DJ who artfully combined electronic and acoustic sounds to accompany the show's choreography, which began with simple walking and later evolved into a full-blown dance routine.
The Spring 2023 collection is a joyful — and beautiful — send-up of the ideas and techniques Miyake introduced to fashion: exploring the relationship between fabric and the body, using original materials to weave garments, sometime from just "one piece of cloth."
The show notes feature a poem titled "A Form That Breathes." It reads:
Kneading, carving and shaping,
With hands and body entirely,
To give rise to a form that is new and free.
The form, once hard, still and silent,
Springs with ease as it breathes and grows,
Singing in rhythm.
A form imbued with life, robust and lively,
Not defined, not confined,
Enveloping the body, liberating the mind.
The show format highlighted fabric and movement. Beginning with more somber black-and-white looks and evolving to incorporate splashes of peach, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green, each look had something that made you want to watch every step as it walked, be it an oddly beautiful protrusion, an interesting bounce or a breezy, cape-like back.
"We see design as a process driven by curiosity, built upon a comprehensive exploration — bringing joy, wonder, and hope to life, and of course with a touch of playfulness," read a quote attributed to "Designer Satoshi Kondo and design team in memory of Issey Miyake."
The show became more playful as it went on, culminating in an expressive performance by professional dancers, who were later joined by the models for a finale march. They finished by running and frolicking offstage together, smiles on their faces. Joy, wonder and hope were all that remained.
See every look from Issey Miyake's Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.