Photos by British Vogue

Issey Miyake was all abloom at Paris Fashion Week on Sunday with Yoshiyuki Miyamae’s official coming-out as lead designer, a gambit to rejuvenate a brand that has struggled to remain relevant in recent years. His Spring 2012 collection was a palette cleanser, with wispy, lighter-than-air silhouettes that were a stark departure from Miyake’s chunkier, almost ponderous forms. Like Miyake, however, Miyamae attended closely to the provenance of his materials, most of which were sourced and then stitched in Japan. The collection was conceived, after all, in the aftermath of the earthquake-and-tsunami disaster in March, with a theme of hope and growth that reflects the fashion house’s aspirations for its homeland.

Issey Miyake, Spring/Summer 2012, Japan, Paris Fashion Week, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

At the runway show, Miyamae sent out his models in five groups—bud, stem, petal, blossom, and bloom—each meant to evoke a stage in the life cycle of a plant. Clad in laser-sharp geometric shapes on filmy painted silks and polished triacetate blends, the frocks, jumpsuits, and racerback tanks juxtaposed flounce and romance with unblinking resolve. It’s a softer aesthetic for Issey Miyake, but one that recalls steel fists hidden in velvet gloves.

It’s a softer aesthetic for Issey Miyake, but one that recalls steel fists hidden in velvet gloves.

And the hats, oh the hats! Surely the Royals will be burning up the phone lines for the petal-shaped headwear, designed to resemble the sauciest part of botanical anatomy. No room for mixed messages here; we’re blushing already.

+ Issey Miyake