Homme Plissé Issey Miyake FW23 was as trippy as it was archival. Hosted inside the sprawling Palais de Tokyo, the legendary Japanese label’s Parisian show marked the third day into Menswear Fashion Week – and it’s safe to say, attendees were probably seeing stars as they left the venue.
The use of light was a major part of Issey Miyake’s collection. Kicking off in almost total darkness, spotlights flashed into the audience (a warning sign to sit tf down) and then dimmed. Within seconds, the space had been consumed by hundreds (if not thousands) of tiny white light beams. They swirled, rolled, churned and coiled; overlapping each other and disappearing out of sight as if on an invisible conveyor belt. If you blinked, you’d miss it – or potentially save yourself a mild fashion-induced seizure.
The trip didn’t end there, either. Before models had even emerged, darkened figures scuttled onto the runway with huge strips of rippling fabric constructed in Miyake’s iconic wrinkle-dodging ‘Pleats Please’ material. As they thrust the fabric into the air in a manner not unlike that of the weird childhood parachute game kids used to play, the hallucinatory light display hit the pleats like kinetic energy. Waterfall-like displays morphed into aquatic looking movements that ebbed and flowed like a psychedelic sea. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be hypnotised by pleats, this was it.
Classic plisse elements were at the core of the show as usual, with the addition of punchy new shades such as moss green and neon aubergine. An asymmetric pleated cape was finished in deep, blood orange, whilst geometric pyramid prints popped up in the form of boxy tees, extra-large overshirts and relaxed pants.
There were oversized, layered outerwear pieces such as a periwinkle rain mac and a draped burgundy utility jacket (with back-vent pleats, of course) and an emphasis on the neckline was exhibited in the form of banded, chunky point collars; chin-skimming turtlenecks; face framing hoods and choker neckline shirts. A few models with round neck plisse tanks layered over clinging bottoms of the same finish donned flat, martial arts appropriate sneakers, and pretty soon we knew why.
As the last model left the floor, dancers filed onto the runway for one final performance. An exhibition of light and movement, Miyake’s eternal ethos of exploring the body and clothes as one rang clear. With Issey Miyake collections, you get what it says on the tin – the clothes are always going to be great, but the rest of the show? It’s just a trip.
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