It’s hard not to feel joyous in the presence of Issey Miyake’s pleats so I was rapt when Marie Chalmel, who looks after Mr Miyake’s design studio in Paris, invited me to the recent in-store launch of a new collaborative series between Pleats Please Issey Miyake and renowned Japanese graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai.
The first thing I did when I entered the store (201 Boulevard Saint-Germain) was smile as the face of a monkey presented amongst a plethora of bright yellow pleats greeted me.
Miyake’s goal was to install LIFE into the clothes, rather than simply treating Nagai’s artwork as static graphics, whilst also drawing on the lightness and sense of freedom that form the essence of Pleats Please Issey Miyake, and he has succeeded.
Nagai’s images selected for Miyake’s collection come from his series of LIFE posters he created in 1993 with the use of five bold colours – red, blue, yellow, green and purple. The dynamism of the animal prints is highlighted by transfer printing the animal pattern on white fabric and takes on three-dimensional forms which come to life through the movements of the wearer.