Issey Miyake (Japanese, born 1938)
Brown wool knit
Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman, 2003 (2003.79.3)
Issey Miyake's 1977 exhibition A Piece of Cloth at the Seibu Museum of Art signified more than a single design concept; APOC, an acronym of the exhibition title, would come to represent Miyake's innovative artistic ideology. While many late twentieth-century creators were initiating postmodern trends toward nostalgic recollection, Miyake looked to the future of adornment. The Okinawa-born artist reduced clothing to its most minimal form, creating movement and dimensionality from a single piece of cloth. Manifested mostly from tube knits to reduce waste, Miyake's APOC designs attempted to enhance tactile exploration, providing a strong material foundation to clothe the body naturally. The Nuno Company, and most prominently textile designer Junichi Arai, share Miyake's environmentally conscious vision in creating highly textured smart fabrics as vehicles for a progressive "new genre" of fashion.
This knit dress, the creation of which coincided with Miyake's 1989 "Cicada Pleats" pieces, features triangular structures divergent from an otherwise natural torso line. These structures provided permanence in form within a fluid and otherwise organic entity. Often compared to the padded dresses or projectile shapes of Rei Kawakubo's collections, Miyake's triangular protrusions were interpreted by many fashion critics as the designer's confrontation of traditional Western body ideals.