One uncredited member of fashion's design team this season has been Mother Nature. The proliferation of creative outerwear suggests a reaction to worsening winters, even if that hasn't actually been the reality, until this weekend at least, when Paris is suffering its worst blizzard conditions for at least 20 years. It would be in such an environment that Issey Miyake's latest collection made most sense. One of its key components was the metallic film used in emergency blankets. It wrapped the final section of the show, from coat lining to panels on parkas and pants to full head-to-toe, turning the model into a one-man solar panel. Repurposing technology for a fashion consumer has been part of Issey's MO throughout his long, brilliant career, and, with the direction of the show credited to "Issey Miyake and The Reality Lab," it was easy to see the master's hand at work here.

At the exact opposite end of the sartorial spectrum, there were coats, blousons, and jackets woven from fabrics from old collections with a traditional technique called sakiori. Sashiko (stitch work) was used for argyle patterning. The show notes are always scrupulously careful in this house to make clear exactly which fabrics and techniques are being employed. Something those notes referred to as "the traditional picnic blanket" inspired quilted, square-cut, zipped jackets that had an odd samurai flair. They also "fold flat and roll up for easy carrying."

The emphasis on utility was admirable, even if it ultimately meant that the collection didn't sing the way a Miyake collection can. Still, the ever pragmatic Issey would undoubtedly consider that a small price to pay for clothes that guarantee, in the words of the designer's scribe, "a freer lifestyle during the winter months." And, as the snow continues to fall, thousands of Parisians would surely agree.