Any creative will know that the blank page is a double-whammy of doom and delight. Multiply that by the resonance of Issey Miyake and you get a notion of what it must be like to be the incumbent designer. Yusuke Takahashi ran that gauntlet with aplomb and referenced India, in particular its spiritual heartland of Varanasi for a restorative retreat.
The unrelenting noon sun turned the courtyard of the Pierre et Marie Curie University into a furnace that no ice pack could alleviate. Like a mirage, the musical group shimmered into existence, as did the first model, all clad in white and looking eminently comfortable. The color-packed audience, not so comfortable, as the heat soared.
The white opener featured garments that you just wanted to step into, right away: roomy shapes cut from crinkly fabrics, easy elegance that was as much tropicalized English gentleman as it was Mediterranean seduction. Segueing from white to black, the collection's calm moved forward with cool ease. A handful of colors popped all the more vividly midway through these mostly monochromatic silhouettes: vivid blue, sulphur yellow and then a mottled medley of colors that evoked India and its rich sun-baked colors, thrown onto these silhouettes. The effect was all at once delicate, artisanal and so very fetching.
Although there is always charm in the Issey Miyake menswear, this particular iteration had a resonance that went behind the fabric artistry usually at play in the house. This white washing imparted a nonchalant elegance that highlighted the ever-now slant of the Miyake ethos. "This is the most legible and pure collection in a long while" one editor summed up. Indeed, for those who had grown tired of the Issey Miyake riot of color and technical passe-passe, a zen-inspired reacquaintance that focused attention on this modern silhouette. For fans, a white page on which to wax more lyrical on a brand that they love.
Finale: Olivier Baco, courtesy of the house