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Exhibitions > 132 5. Issey Miyake: A Work of Hope

132 5. Issey Miyake: A Work of Hope
Philip Fimmano

132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE is a unique name that symbolizes an innovative process rather than a finished product. Never fully satisfied by his successes, Issey Miyake has taken his curiosity a step further. His life story has been landscaped by creative encounters with people from other disciplines such as artists, designers, choreographers, and photographers. In tune with his time and age, the master has now turned to science as a domain from which to derive inspiration and insight, transforming material into wearable pieces of abstraction.

132 5. is the product of a collaboration with the computer genius Jun Mitani, a scientist whose programs have given three-dimensional insight into the origami technique. Miyake worked closely with textile engineer Manabu Kikuchi and pattern innovator Sachiko Yamamoto from his Reality Lab., converting mathematical algorithms into sculptural origami models before cutting flat patterns to make dimensional garments. Ten key abstract shapes were selected to formulate the 132 5. vocabulary, from which the designers imagine each collection every season. Miyake considers this new venture to be an expression of industrial design and has presented the project in galleries, far from the fashion runways, explaining his concept personally to the attending journalists and press.

"I've been thinking about the challenges we'll have to deal with in the 21st century," Miyake says. "Most of us feel some kind of uncertainty, with the population increasing and resources decreasing... It's important to make clothes for long-term use now, not just one season.
We can't keep throwing things away. We have to face these issues. Many people repeat the past. I'm not interested. I prefer evolution."

The brand is indeed evolutionary in its application of pop-up methodologies but revolutionary in its ecological awareness, as well as its efforts to sustain Japanese artisanal knowledge. Miyake describes this new strategy as a "work of hope," a collection that reflects his deep concerns with the environment. The Reality Lab design team has been working with PET textiles from Teijin Frontier, a company that has perfected the bio-chemical technology to advance molecular processing, improving the fabric's quality while reducing CO2 emissions by 80% and avoiding the usual deterioration when these materials are recycled several times. Each season the collection has enhanced the development of these high-tech textiles by achieving softer and more fluid qualities, as well as new variations in weight and tactility. 132 5. therefore embraces the ideas of "re-generation" and "re-creation" which are so important to Miyake.

Philip Fimmano

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