Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Extract 1 from Dissertation: Issey Miyake

One of the most famous fashion designers known to have experimented with innovative knit technology is Issey Miyake. Born in 1938 in Hiroshima, Japan, Miyake's fashion career started up when he established his own design studio in 1970 and begun to show his fashion lines at the Paris Collections in 1973.1

Since then, he has wowed the fashion industry with his experimental and innovative collections, winning himself over 14 awards including the Japan Art Prize by Shincho Bungei Shinkou-kai in 2000 and the 22nd Kyoto Prize in the Arts and Philsophy category in 2006.2
In the early nineties, textile engineer Dai Fujiwara joined the Miyake Design Studio and in 1998 he launched the A-POC project with Issey Miyake.3
A-POC, an acronym of 'a piece of cloth', is the independent line in which Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara introduced new knit technology into the fashion industry. The collection name refers to both the label and the technological process behind it. After years of research, the designers found that connecting an old German knitting machine to a computer would create the results they desired.
They continue this approach today by combining traditional industrial knitting machines with the vary latest computer software available. 4 These machines are programmed to knit continuous tubes of fabric with both the shape and the pattern of the garment at the same time. The process is literally a case of watching thread going into the machine and viewing it re-emerging as a piece of clothing.
The beauty of this design is that the customer can create and customise the garments however they see fit and be a part of the final step of the design of their garment. If the garment coming out of the machine is a top, the customer can decide whether they want long sleeves, short sleeves, high neckline, low neckline.. the list is endless.
In her article 'Seamless' for 'Wired' magazine, Jessie Scanlon describes the process:
“That process breaks one of the fundamental laws of fashion physics: cut and sew. Normally, clothes are made by weaving thread or yarn into fabric, which is then snipped and stitched to create, say, a dress. The A-POC method requires no sewing. Thread goes into the loom, the dress comes out. Moreover, the material can be snipped anywhere without unravelling, a feature that allows for complete customisation. A pair of scissors and a flirtatious spirit can turn a turtleneck into a plunging V-neck.”5

1Infomat: Issey Miyake Fashion Designer, webpage from the website of, <> accessed 26 December 2011
2ISSEY MIYAKE Official Site – Selected Awards – webpage from the website of Issey, <> accessed 26 December 2011
3Inspire/Speaker|Design Indaba – Dai Fujiwara, webpage from the website of Design, <>, accessed 26 December 2011
4S. E. Braddock Clarke, M. O'Mahony, Techno Textiles, Thames and Hudson, United Kingdom, 1998, p125
5J. Scanlon, 'Seamless – Issey Miyake', article dated Issue 12.04, April 2004, webpage from the website of, <> accessed 26 December 2011

No comments: