ResearchPoint: Fashion designer using high tech materials

I have chosen Issey Miyake because he is renowned for his innovative use of materials, particularly since the late 1980’s with his development of a new technique of garment pleating. Garment would be made up in a polyester then intricately folded and pleated and then sandwiched between sheets of paper. This would then be carefully heat pressed, to create permanently pleated fabric.

This process began a series of designs called Pleats Please from 1993 onwards. Part of this series included collaborations with guest artists from a diverse mixture of media, from photographers and painters as well as an artist called Cai Quo Qiang who was interested in the polyester material as a flammable material. Issey Miyake took 80 items from his Pleats Please collection and laid the. On the floor of a warehouse in the shape of a dragon. He then put a trail of gunpowder over them and invited guests to see the event. The gunpowder was lit marking and melting the fabric, these marks were photographed and used as print designs for a new collection of Pleats Please clothes.

See example of this pleats please collection here…

What I love most about this work is the unrestrained exploration of materials. Completely experimental and open.

What are the possible implications for textile designers of working as part of a team with technologists, scientists, etc.?

The possibilities are enormous of working with other disciplines, each party would see things in new ways and bring completely different view points to projects. I think however that when when working with very different mindsets there could be a clash of expectation. Scientists can work in very analytical constrained ways, but artists on the other hand are often less structured.