Next up on the list for The Designer Crochet Project is Issey Miyake. Let’s find out who he is, if he’s done anything with crochet and what crochet-loving fashionistas put together with his designs.

About Fashion Designer Issey Miyake

Simone Werle’s 50 Fashion Designers You Should Know Designer Crochet: Helmut Lang distinctly describes the work of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake as “origami on the body”. Miyake specializes in designs that fuse art and technology with fashion and offer adjustable options so that the wearer can be creative with how she chooses to implement the designs on her body. He uses really simple fabric shapes that can be folded and bent and re-shaped on the wearer for creative style.

In terms of his business career, Miyake opened his first studio in Tokyo in 1970, did his first show in New York the following year and showed in Paris two years after that. In the late 1980’s he revolutionized the process of pleating which gained him a lot of attention. In the late 90’s he gained attention for a collection called A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) which was a mass produced collection where the final item was actually cut out by the consumer, a new version of his idea that the woman wearing the clothes makes the style of the piece in the end. Miyake officially retired from fashion in 1997 although he reportedly continues to oversea the Issey Miyake brand. His current big endeavor is that he is one of the three directors of the 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT museum, Japan’s first design museum which opened in 2007.

Issey Miyake Crochet

Issey Miyake Spring 2010 saw some designs on the runway that were either crochet or crochet-inspired.

ISSEY MIYAKE cauliflower

This is a recent shrug from the Issey Miyake brand.

Issey Miyake Worn with Crochet

That’s an Issey Miyake coat worn with Comme des Garçons crochet socks

Fun Fact

A 1988 issue of Vogue Knitting with a nautical theme reportedly has designs in it from Issey Miyake. I’m assuming that’s a knit design but since the current Crochet issue by Vogue Knitting is so hot right now I thought I’d mention it.

Issey Miyake Designs I’d Love To See Re-Made In Crochet

What is interesting about Miyake’s clothes is that they have very simple construction, based in easy geometric shapes like circles and rectangles, and are often single large swaths of fabric folded origami-style to create unique looks on the body. This has the potential to lend itself well to crochet so even though Miyake himself hasn’t done a lot of crochet work I think there is a ton of potential for his work to be reinvented in crochet. Here are some examples of what I think would work if re-worked in crochet:

Issey Miyake is all about voluminous shape!

An example of Miyake’s pleats

This totem face knit dress would lend itself well to reinvention in amigurumi-inspired crochet, I think.

2012 Issey Miyake


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


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