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Does Issey Miyake Really Design Unflattering Fashion?

by Michaela Piontková

Everyone on ‘FashionTok’ has likely caught wind of the recent debate surrounding Issey Miyake's appeal.



It all kicked off when one user, @celeste.aria, dropped a video discussing an ‘unpopular opinion’; she finds Issey Miyake's designs unflattering. 


She argued that, while visually pleasing on the hanger, pleats often found in Miyake’s clothes don’t look good on the figure. The video went viral and caused a wave of reactions.


The problem many had with this statement was that the author was referring to the Pleats Please, which is only one of his many lines. While it’s true that the pleat is a Miyake signature, he's explored numerous other techniques in previous collections.


In fact, a lot of his clothes are very conventional, and you wouldn’t necessarily connect them to being from the same family as the mentioned Pleats Please.



In essence, many fans were irked because the critique seemed to be based on what he's most famous for, possibly overlooking his other designs.


Another issue people saw in the statement is that she could be implying that the garments are unflattering because they don’t make the figure appear slim.


Yet, the author didn't explicitly state this, leaving room for discussion about how different cuts complement various body types.


A piece might not do justice to a slimmer physique but could be a perfect fit for those with more curves. And let's not forget, the magic isn't just in the cut and material; colour also plays a pivotal role.


One could argue that the choice of models in the campaign might have contributed to the perception of unflattering garments. Perhaps they weren't the ideal canvas to showcase Miyake's creations.


However, a prevailing argument asserts that Miyake crafts garments that truly shine in motion. 


During the brand’s Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show, he had one of the models ride the runway on a skateboard to properly demonstrate how the dress floats in the wind. In another segment of the same show, we saw models dancing in different styles to again emphasize how the garments look when their wearer moves. 



Critics lamented that the author may have missed the mark in grasping the philosophy behind the brand.


In a nutshell, both sides have valid points. For someone glimpsing Issey Miyake solely through Pleats Please on their Instagram feed, he might seem confined to unflattering cuts. Yet, for those in the know about his extensive legacy, it appears as commentary from someone not fully versed in his body of work.


Beyond the debate of whether Issey Miyake is inherently flattering or not, this conversation paints a vivid portrait of how what might bore one person can be a source of fascination for another. Let's always keep the dialogue open and respect each other's viewpoints. 


Edited by Emily Duff

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