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Issey Miyake’s latest fashion show is an ode to the beauty of female joy

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
They just want to have fun.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Fashion can be a lot of things, including fun. But while it’s common for fashion shows to feature quirky designs—think Moschino, for instance, whose whole aesthetic is based on irreverence and eccentricity—seeing the models themselves having a good time is unusual.

Despite the progress made by the fashion world in embracing women of more common shapes, sizes, and behavior, the vast majority of fashion presentations still feature women exercising their best posture while strutting down the catwalk.

Well, not at Issey Miyake’s latest Paris Fashion Week presentation yesterday. The brand’s new lead designer, Satoshi Kondo, displayed his collection through a combination of choreography and plain old jumping around, as well as skate-boarding, running, and skipping. His colorful items are made for moving, in that movement maximizes, rather than messes up, their lines and shapes.

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
Issey Miyake’s latest Paris Fashion Week presentation.

The outfits descended from the ceiling right onto models who waited with their arms stretched up—like kids being dressed by an invisible, giant adult. Dancers, acrobats, and even musicians punctuated the event, which has already been called by some the show of the season.

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
Issey Miyake, Spring/Summer 2020.

The models and artists jumping in the brightly colored clothes were an explosion of pure joy. The scene conveyed a quintessential love of color and geometry, and the sole purpose seemed to be that the women wearing those outfits have fun, together, for the sake of it. Models and artists alike seemed completely captured by the lines and shapes their clothes could create—by the way they would stretch in the air, expand into unpredictable volumes, or just bounce perfectly, each layer to its own rhythm.

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes
An outfit descends from the ceiling to dress one of the models.

“I wanted to express joy through fashion. So I mixed different emotions—happiness, pleasure, a modern sensibility—combining different materials, Japanese tradition, and innovative techniques,” explained Kondo.

It was an ode to the kind of design the Japanese fashion house is known for, and to the contagious nature of female joy. One of the people in the audience referred to the models as “the sisterhood,” and it’s hard not to see them as a large group of sisters showing how gorgeous it is to have fun—just as it must be hard, for anyone watching, to resist joining in.

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