ISSEY MIYAKE SS2022: The Coral Reef of Architecture in Fashion

by Silje Kvam/ ISSEY MIYAKE Press Office
October 11, 2021
ISSEY MIYAKE’s SS2022 Women’s Collection is called ‘A Voyage in Descent’ and brings us along for a tour of the world below the surface. There are seven series within the collection that all touch on an aspect of the deep sea in the natural order of events.
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A collection born from the concept of a voyage, has shaped fluid and lightweight garments that fit any mood and occasion. With seven series, this collection touches on several styles of fashion, while staying true to the concept of the world beneath the surface.
The fashion show is a physical fabrication of the undersea, with optical and acoustic elements that strengthen the feeling of dreamlike reality. The fashion show takes place in different architectural spaces throughout the journey. And with every new site, there is a new series in the collection to be unfolded. The deeper into the sea we travel, the more colourful the outfits become. Calm and inspiring feelings are welcomed with materials and techniques that reflect the underwater life. The audience gets the full experience of the story from the early stages of the fashion show.

The Underwater World

‘A Voyage in Descent’ is inspired by travels to the deep sea. The fashion show sets the calming mood with airy music that matches the light and flowy garments of the collection. Beginning with the models descending below the surface, the journey follows a natural pattern of more extravagant discoveries the deeper into the sea they go. Through the trip you see clothing reflecting the sea through their colour palette, fabrics and treatments.

Descending Into a Swimming Pool

The fashion show changes site for each series in the collection. Starting above surface, the architecture of the site is characterised by bright elements related to water. This includes shiny tiles, what looks like a backyard turned into a makeshift swimming pool, and diving boards. The bottom of the swimming pool is covered in sea-cut stones. Digitally crafted, geometrical, graphical waves put a science fiction-like edge to the perception of the scene. Free standing ladders lead down to the waters, and the music is muffled once the models dive below surface. They are wearing the ‘SILENCE’-series, where the garments have been hand dyed through drawing on damp textiles.

Environmentally Friendly Fabrics

Dancing through a long, curved hall with concrete walls, the digitally created surface can still be spotted above, while the concrete walls reflect their surroundings. The ‘WAVELET’-series, has organic and asymmetrical qualities and fabrics made from recycled polyester. The series hovers through the hall, compelling us into the next scene, which takes place at a wide and bright staircase. It is all about descending further into the deep. Walking down the stairs, surface still visible, we are introduced to the ‘CARVED’-series. This series focuses on the waistline and can be worn as a suit. Cut-outs on each side of the figure contribute to a fluid flow in these slightly more fitted garments. Washi paper woven cotton and biodegradable fibers give this series a more luxurious look and feel, while taking care of the underseas life through its sustainability.

Coral Reef Hues

The ‘SWIMMING HUE’-series is a solid colour version of the ‘SWIMMING’-series. They both contain smooth and airy fabrics as well as vivid colours such as pink, yellow, red, green and blue. Hats and prints inspired by sea animals, give character to the outfits. These series bring us into the bottom of the ocean, communicated through a dark theatre hall with dimmed lighting effects striking the architecture in a cryptic manner. Wavy prints are created through a bleeding technique where colours smudge into each other.


Garments that ‘Go-with-the-Flow’

We are welcomed into another big, dark room, resembling a modern museum reception at night, where the series called ‘LINK RINGS’ is introduced. The colourful garments are similar in character to paper lanterns, with loops of fabrics that are hand-pleated together. They create an elevating mood with a flowy structure, not unlike the anatomy of jellyfish. The ‘FLUIDITY LOOP’-series is another colourful edition to the palette of the collection. Here the fabrics are knit in the shape of a spiral, to form a mobile piece of clothing. The wearables are versatile and include a top that has no front or back. The fashion show ends with a number of colourful styles adorning the open floor, like a peaceful coral reef of a fashion exhibition.


Images: Courtesy of ISSEY MIYAKE

Collages by Silje Kvam