Issey Miyake: design is for life

Tribute to one of the last geniuses of fashion

Yesterday Miyake Studio released the news that the Japanese designer Issey Miyake has passed away.

Even though he chose fashion as the medium to express his creativity, calling him a fashion designer is quite limiting. Indeed, he was more than that: a survivor, inventor, and humanist who challenged dressmaking and the modern world. In just one word, he was an artist.

Born in 1938 in Hiroshima, his family was killed by the first atomic bomb when he was a child. But he didn’t talk about that. Instead, he preferred to look forward, focusing on what he could create. He spoke about it only in support of Barack Obama’s pledge for nuclear disarmament.





A trailblazer in Japanese design, he mixed easter and western elements, creating a new innovative style. His fluid modernity changed the vision of clothing. Furthermore, he launched the technologies that allowed him to make his innovative garments. He also pioneered his pleating technique.

“In the Eighties, Japanese fashion designers brought a new type of creativity; they brought something Europe didn’t have. There was a bit of a shock effect, but it probably helped the Europeans wake up to a new value.”

Issey Miyake

Issey Miyake: a revolutionary genius

His original idea is one piece of cloth: cutting garments from a single fabric, an exercise between material and form. He worked with the body in movement, fascinated by the space between the cloth and the body.

“I do not create a fashionable aesthetic. I create a style based on life.”

Issey Miyake
Issey Miyake

His style focused on functionality, utility, and comfort, creating a timeless aesthetic – a design for life.

The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It is not recycling, it’s reuse.

Issey Miyake

Miyake’s work was relentless research for the clothing of the future.

“I make clothing, and I don’t care about trendy things.”

Issey Miyake

There’s so much to say about his work. However, one thing contributed to making him an outstanding figure in the fashion universe: his humble mentoring. Under his banner, he helped launch and develop many brands, for instance, Plantation, Zucca and Tsumori Chisato, just to name a few we love. His sense of collaboration and togetherness was really unique.

A true revolutionary, one of the last geniuses of fashion.
Rest in peace.

Enslaving workers: has anything changed?

It seems clear that our economic system is based on enslaving workers. That’s how it thrives.

Here we quote an excerpt of Li Edelkoort’s talk from the Voices stage – via Business of Fashion. Edelkoort is one of the most respected trend forecasters. This talk is from 2015, definitely not something new. 

So, why it’s worth sharing again? Because nothing has changed over time!

Enslaving workers and cheap deals

Low prices are enslaving workers and destroying cultural value. 
“The manufacturing of clothes has gone through a rapid and sordid restructuring process, which has seen production leave the western world to profit from and exploit low-income countries,” said Edelkoort. “How can a product that needs to be sown, grown, harvested, combed, spun, knitted, cut and stitched, finished, printed, labelled, packaged and transported cost a couple of Euros?” she asked, comparing fashion’s supply chain to slavery.

“On the hunt for cheaper deals, volume companies, but also some luxury brands, have trusted the making of their wages to underpaid workers living in dire conditions,” she continued. “What’s more, these prices imply the clothes are to be thrown away, discarded like a condom before being loved and savoured, teaching young consumers that fashion has no value. We should make legislation to have minimum prices.”

Has anything changed so far? 

No. That’s why it makes sense to touch on this issue again.

No one planned to find solutions. Brands and governments will never do it! A spontaneous act of understanding is not part of their plans. But the pandemic has contributed to exacerbating the situation. Many people lost their job, and the working conditions are even worse now.

Seven years later, we are still just talking. And talking about change when nothing ever changes can be frustrating. We like words, but actions must follow or change won’t happen.

So we signed the “Good clothes fair pay” petition, which demands a living wage for the people who make our clothes. They need 1 million EU citizen signatures. 

Let’s help them!

The world you want

The world you want is the one you have already chosen.

Do you know how? Through your purchases. Through the things you buy. How much you consume and how you consume.

This is how you vote: you do it with your wallet. And you do it without even thinking because it’s the conditioned reflex of unaware humans.

Indeed, you have already chosen the world you want. And your style shows it. In fact, fashion is just one piece of the big puzzle.

Your favourite world surrounds us: overconsuming, huge quantity over quality, human rights violated.

So enjoy it! It’s here! Enjoy your world!
Are you happy with it?

Unless you see things from a different viewpoint.
You are generous enough to care about the impact of your actions. And to see that this crazy lifestyle is taking us to self-destruction.

Because we – humans – are responsible for climate change.
The recent heatwave and droughts are so tangible.

Are you sure you want to vote for this world?
Are you still ok with it?

Or do you want to change?

Meaning

Having meaning in life, feel it, not to lose it. 

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” – said the great Friedrich Nietzsche.

Later, Doctor Viktor Frankl wrote one of the most beautiful books ever written – “Man’s search for meaning” – by focusing on this concept and having this quote on top. If he made it, so can we.

During these days of recovery from Covid, struggling against weakness and brain fog, we circle back to meaning. 

The toughness of the moment makes it easy to lose sight of it.

Both Nietzsche and Doctor Frankl’s powerful words sound like a reminder for us and whoever needs them.

Like a common flu? Not really!

You have heard this before: “Covid is like a common flu.” Well, not really.
Most importantly, generalising and selfish thinking can be dangerous.

We are sisters, and we work together. And so it means we spend a lot of time in direct contact. The bad news is that about ten days ago, we tested positive for Covid, and we feel devastated.

Now we are on the mend, but still, we have no energy to handle our working routine fully, so this is not one of our usual posts. But we wanted to leave a message to those who said, or still say, that Covid is just like a common flu.

No, it is not! It’s worse than that.

If you’ve had mild symptoms and can only look at your own garden, it’s ok, do it and think selfishly. But do not assume that it works the same for everyone else.

By the way, we hope that protecting the weakest and a sense of social responsibility will prevail over individual protection.

Thanks for your supportive messages.

Love,
Ro and Cri

Barefoot elegance

What’s new in style

Thinking about reconnecting style with nature got us in the mood for a new liberating impulse: barefoot elegance.

Indeed lately, we have been thinking about some barefoot outfits. Of course, the summer season makes it an option to consider, as it encourages a sense of freedom.

Because of the new work-from-home lifestyle, the opportunities to take the shoes off and enjoy a more relaxed style have increased. Furthermore, locked down in our concrete prisons, we felt the need to stay in contact with nature more and more. Feeling the ground through our feet somehow stimulates positive vibes.

Do not get us wrong. Shoes are a fundamental detail in defining an outfit, the most important accessory. In fact, the right shoes can even revive an insignificant dress, so it’s worth investing in quality shoes.

But, let’s see it as the exception to the rule: enjoying feet’ contact with the ground is a new inspiration.

Pointing out a style reference, Sade Adu is the person who has set a high standard. A timeless and classy icon who often used to go barefoot on stage. Her sophisticated but effortless style was out of the schemes then as now.

barefoot elegance - Marc Le Bihan dress
Barefoot elegance – Open-back cotton dress by Marc Le Bihan

Of course, it’s difficult to reach her level, but let’s try.

Try your barefoot elegance style

Occasions to go barefoot?
A party at home or in a garden, lunch in the countryside or a pool party. And a beach party, of course. Summer offers many opportunities!

What are the clothes to wear?
For instance, take “The Double Silk Dress.” But also “The Open Back Dress.” Both by Marc Le Bihan are perfect for these occasions. Just add a few accessories, and your barefoot look will stand out.

Sensing the ground under our feet stimulates a harmonising feeling, a liberating state of awareness. Indeed, being barefoot is a way to reconnect with nature.
So when possible, try your barefoot elegance look.

And if you have any doubts about your style, WhatsApp us!  
We’d love to assist you!

Modern beauty standards: between patriarchy and market demands

Do you know what beauty is?

Apart from the male perspective, which has always ruled women’s life, there’s more to explore about modern beauty standards.

Even bearing in mind the subjectivity of the matter, aesthetic judgement isn’t about beauty itself anymore, as an archetype or related to physical traits.

Modern beauty: what influences our judgement?

Analysing beauty standards, we have to consider two main factors:

First, beauty is the embodiment of a male perspective. Therefore, it’s a matter of power. The male eye works like a filter, shaping and dictating women’s choices. This judgemental screen took over women’s viewpoint, almost as a natural feature which limits independent activity. So that women themselves play the man’s games.

Second, contemporary beauty is a market issue. The commercial factor is crucial in understanding modern beauty standards: the product of brainwashing through advertising, movies, tv programs, social media etc.

modern beauty

“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”
Nathaniel Branden

Modern beauty stereotype

From thin to curvy, plastic dolls are the stereotype. But all shapes have the same cookie-cutter features: doughnut lips, cheekbones like protruding mountains, and eyebrows like they got scared. Sadly, that botox expression will never disappear from their face.

The emulation process triggered in young girls’ minds and adult women, whose self-esteem is not solid, is appalling. Furthermore, self-esteem is a work-in-progress because reaching self-awareness is a growth process. And you don’t just snap your fingers to gain it.

However, this emulation is the result of the brainwashing system, a form of persuasion that makes women look all the same, like fake plastic dolls.
Is that beauty? No, it’s business. Indeed, it’s a very profitable business.

And so, beauty standards have to do with male power and market demands more than any archetypal or old-fashioned rule.

In prehistory, the traits connected to fecundity were considered beautiful. Specifically, the Palaeolithic Venus was more generous and curvy. The Greek Venus had a more slender figure. Therefore, the beauty archetype was associated with given characteristics.

What about the modern beauty myth?
Modern beauty is not only about power but also a market issue.

And so, forget who you are. Go and buy your new equipment.
In the end, beauty is just a product.

NO SALES: what you can do to change for the better

Your sustainable act of consciousness

It’s the second year of our NO SALES resolution. If you come across our activity by chance, you may discover now that we do not participate in sales or promotions anymore.

What is the reason?

The market is hyper-saturated, filled to the brim with disposable clothing. Heavy discounts and obsessive promotions are indicators of a sick system. They reflect an economy based on overproduction, which compels the unceasing growth of fake needs. So, blind consumers are manipulated and induced to buy whatever products.

Of course, sales are not a sustainable strategy

Independent businesses or local and small activities cannot follow big corporations on this unhealthy plan. That exploits the environment and needs slavery to thrive.
Also, the retail price should take into account creativity, quality and labour. Therefore, fair wages for the production chain.

Once we have realised the whole economic system is corrupted, we have decided not to conform to fashion standards anymore. And so, we have reduced the quantity we order every season. And by refining our selection, we opted for a capsule wardrobe focused only on meaningful items.

This is what:

• We don’t need quantity anymore
• We choose quality and good design
• We select items made to last
• Fair wages for all the production chain

We are here to make something different, to change for the better. And to promote conscious fashion and slower consumption.
If the status quo is what you still want to support, just look around. It’s everywhere. You don’t need us.

But if you have lost that frenzy and search for value instead, we are here for you. Uniqueness is our strength. Indeed you won’t find anyone dressed like you.

No Sales!

No sales – is your act of consciousness.
And it’s the ultimate sustainable economic model for a long-term approach which supports creativity, quality, and fair wages.

It is time not to conform to a worldview that leads to destruction.

No sales mean less stuff, more meaning.
It’s a radical and conscious lifestyle choice #formodernhumans

Styling options: what you need to know

Styling options multiply when you choose good design and quality. If you choose wisely and mix them with the proper styling, you’ll be able to wear your beautiful clothes in multiple ways. Therefore, you don’t need to buy plenty of pieces that last a couple of months.

Indeed, it’s about putting together a capsule wardrobe of meaningful pieces. Of course, the price tag is not cheap. And maybe you will not take many items all at once. But, in the long run, the design and quality of the clothes you have decided to buy will make the difference.

Why? Quality and design make clothes last much longer. And even if the shape is minimal, they always stand out.

Styling options

Buy less buy better

Styling options

For instance, take “The V Neck One Piece” in cyclamen pink. The quality of the fabric is so good that it feels gratifying to wear it and sense it on your skin. Also, the design is cool, and the fit is perfect. Therefore, you can wear it at the beach for sunbathing or swimming. But it’s so flattering and stylish that you can also wear it in town.

So try it as a top with white cotton trousers or jeans and flat shoes. And when the weather is a little cooler, put on an oversized mannish blazer or a denim jacket.

Same you can do with the other one-piece swimsuits and high waist bikinis we have selected. And if you may have any doubt, drop us a message! We are happy to answer your questions.

So, yes! You will buy lesser pieces. But you’ll take beautiful clothes you’ll love to wear, and your styling options multiply because they always stand out.

Most importantly, you don’t buy clothes to throw away quickly but timeless items that last a lifetime.
And guess what? Your wardrobe will be sustainable for real!

Haute couture: the diversity and inclusion debate

Between tradition and modernity, the latest haute couture shows brought about the debate on diversity and inclusion.

Haute couture shows were back with physical events, and the chit-chat was all about stars and starlets attending this or that one. Well, not just being present, but also walking down the catwalk.

Therefore, the lens pointed to celebrities and not to design or style. Perhaps it is a successful strategy in terms of sales but has no significance for us. Instead of making the show more appealing, it makes us lose interest. Though it demonstrates that you can be rich and famous, it doesn’t mean you have style.

Haute couture and modernity

According to Business of Fashion, diversity and inclusion were missed in Paris. Also, “couture codes are out of sync with the times.” “Big hats, corsets, and taffeta represent a snap back to the old days” – so they say. The only house that featured progress was Balenciaga.

Since we find Balenciaga’s vision quite scary and nonsensical, we prefer to leave modernism to the experts’ authority. And not that the world isn’t distressing as it is right now, but because it is so, it makes sense to work for something more positive.

Haute couture: art made by skilled hands

Haute couture is about beauty, top quality and perfection in execution. Art made by skilled hands. Indeed the show that mastered this concept at its best was Valentino on the steps of Piazza di Spagna in Rome. “The beginning” – back to where everything started for the brand.
With his stunning designs and marvellous silhouettes, Pierpaolo Piccioli’s show was an ode to beauty, colours and mastery. Furthermore, his focus on diversity and inclusion is a political message: people coming together for a better future.

We adored the maxi gowns with flat shoes or kitten heels.
However, experimenting with the future while acknowledging the past is where a truly contemporary vision resides.

Haute couture, diversity and inclusion

Of course, diversity and inclusion are valuable elements, but haute couture can not be inclusive.
Though we may sound boring in repeating this concept, haute couture will not be less elitist because they include plus sizes or different races in the show.

Haute couture is elitist by definition. The price makes it not accessible.

The truth is that you buy haute couture only if you can afford it and if you have a lot of money. Really a lot. Not because you feel represented.