Sunday, 28 November 2010

132 5 issey miyake

This autumn Issey Miyake launched his latest label, 132 5 Issey Miyake, an idea "born from a union between mathematics and clothes making".

The title of the collection explains the concept:

" Each of the numerals has a special significance. The numeral '1' refers to a single piece of cloth, while '3' refers to its three- dimensional shape. The following '2' comes from the fact that a 3D piece of material is folded into a two dimensional shape, and the '5' seperated by a single space refers to the time between when the folded forms are made and people actually put them on, giving birth to clothing. The numeral '5' also signifies our hope that this idea will have many other permutations".

The collection consists of ten basic two dimensional patterns. The look of the eventual garments is decided by the positioning of sharp, precise, permanently creased lines that the patterns are folded along. 

These patterns expand into skirts, shirts, dresses and with the help of some strategically placed invisible snaps, the wearer can change the shape of the garment into trousers and sleeved jackets.

This origami style collection was inspired by Jun Mitani, a Japenese computer scientist, who created a program to construct three dimensional geometrics from a single piece of paper. The project was led by Reality Lab, a Research and Development team formed by Miyake, his Textile Engineer Manubu Kikuchi, and Pattern Engineer Sachinko Yamamoto.

The Japenese fashion designer is famous for his technology driven clothing design, with a focus on sustainability, efficiency, ecology and accessibility to the wearer. This collection ticks all the boxes, with all of the fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles (refined PET polyester). These articles, one from Dezeen magazine, and the other from the Independant newspaper hold informative interviews with Miyake and contain much more detail behind the concept of the design.

I am really inspired by this collection, not only for it's obvious mathematical connections, but by the techniques used to create these designs. In my original project proposal I outlined my interest in examining the construction of shapes, looking at the way seams could be joined and moved to alter form, and examining how to create form from a single piece of fabric as Miyake has so beautifully illustrated. 

The permanent creases are obtained by heat pressing the two dimensional fabric. I am not sure how well this technique would work on knit, but it is certainly something I will bear in mind when experimenting with synthetic yarns. I am sure that there are many possibilities of using heat to alter form with synthetics. Perhaps engraving or scoring fold lines into a garment on the laser cutter is also a possibility.


  1. Wow, what discipline and concentration must it take to do the above. I've been struggling with gluing and sticking buttons and beads today!!
    Just stumbled upon this, might have some useful links if you find time to trail through them!
    Jo x

  2. Forgot to put the site address!
    Just saw this too!