If you want to demonstrate the high-performance properties of your clothing, an extreme sport presents an obvious opportunity. Dai Fujiwara collaborated with karate masters on his new collection for Issey Miyake
, developing fabrics and shapes that could take a licking and keep on ticking. During the show, the results were put to the test by those same masters (one man and three women, including a pair of French twins straight out of a Bond movie). The high-octane physicality of their performances was dazzling—the fact it didn't overpower the rest of Fujiwara's clothes underscored the strength of this collection. In a season full of references (twenties, forties, and, of course, eighties), it was refreshing to see something that looked so contemporary.
Pleating, a Miyake signature, was used here in concertinalike fashion on sleeves and pant legs, articulating movement in odd places like forearms and calves. The same kinetic principle was reflected in the engineered prints used for dresses, jackets, and pants, as well as in the diagonal seaming of androgynous tailoring, and the patchwork leggings. All of it suggested the body tautly moving beneath. Miyake himself was a poet and
a technician when he helmed his own label. It was plain to see that Fujiwara tends more to the latter inclination, but a final group of light-as-air outfits, fluttering like delicate piles of striped hankies, evoked the pure poetry of the master.