The presentation of Yoshiyuki Miyamae's second women's collection for Issey Miyake was a reminder of the subtle but impressive ingenuity of Japanese showmanship. The show opened with a practical demonstration of "steam stretch," a new fabric technology that uses applications of steam to shape clothes woven from a combination of silk and stretch yarn. Within seconds, anonymous squares of fabric were completely transformed into sinuous dresses. It was a spectacular effect, subsequently compounded by a show that featured more of the same. There was never a dull moment, because there'd be another innovative something or other along within seconds.

Alongside "steam stretch," there was a subtext called "mineral miracle" that used the angular refractions of minerals as the inspiration for geometric prints. A trompe l'oeil waffle knit added deceptive texture. The mesh laid over quilted pieces was another way to introduce unexpected movement to clothes.

Underpinning the show was a live soundtrack by a duo called Open Reel Ensemble. Working reel-to-reel, they taped and mixed live sounds (the steam of an iron, for instance) into an electronic score. "A physical intervention in music and time," was the way they described what they did, but their combination of old- and new-tech and timeless emotion seemed like an absolutely perfect analogy for the spirit of Japan's new fashion wave. Chapeau, as the French say.