The brand’s Fall/Winter 2021 film pays homage to a legacy of constant reinvention
In Issey Miyake’s Fall/Winter 2021 presentation, the brand pays homage to an enduring legacy of reinvention. The film opens with fabrics being fed into a heat press, the signature method of pleating coined by Miyake in the ’80s in order to allow for greater ease: both in care and in the wearer’s flexibility of movement. Interspersed with shots of the pleating process, models in monochrome outfits strut through an unfurnished industrial space; the brisk pace of their movements appears unchoreographed, but effortlessly in sync, like a school of minnows changing direction. The sharp, militaristic quality of their formation is accentuated by the rising intensity of the music, which samples sounds of the machinery at work.
In the second half of the video, the models pose atop a rotating platform in an array of colorful looks before breaking character to play and dance in the space. Classic yet modern, the collection’s streamlined tailoring directs attention to pattern, texture, and movement—surprising no one, pleats feature prominently among the showcased looks, albeit with lively new patterns and silhouettes. In a nod to handicraft, the collection also includes patterns inspired by hand-woven African baskets, along with newly re-engineered, fully recycled versions of their signature fabrics. Long recognized for its development of technical fabrics and innovative production methods, Issey Miyake now offers a behind-the-scenes look at the cogs and gears of its sartorial machinery—yet its new collection is an ode to the human hands working in tandem, whether feeding fabrics into the heat press, or peeling off the paper to reveal a perfect pleat.