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Vintage Issey Miyake Ivory Sleeveless Sculptural Dress Museum Held, 1980s
Futuristic Japanese designer Issey Miyake is a master of form and fabric, known for creating beautiful sculptural garments that pay homage to the past while bringing us somewhere new and enchanting.
Eschewing the traditional way of constructing garments from pre-pleated fabric, Miyake developed his own method of “garment pleating”, creating permanent pleats using a heat press after constructing a garment’s desired shape. This technique created remarkable clothes that maintain their shape, may be folded flat, and do not crease.
Presumably from his 1989 collection, this phenomenal ‘origami’ dress is a fine example of Miyake’s interest in folding techniques and desire to create pleated garments that move. Done in ivory polyester, an ideal fabric for pleating, this dress is a sophisticated and innovative take on a timeless silhouette.
The bodice is introduced with a square neckline framed by two slender straps, the open décolletage bringing a nice lightness to the midi-length gown. The pleated fabric offers a pleasing textural rhythm throughout while following the natural lines of the body, flowing from the bodice to a fishtail hem at the front of the skirt.
Bust: 30- 34 inches
Waist: 24 -32 inches
Hips: 30 -36 inches
Length: 50 front -54 inches at the back
The back of the dress takes folding to another dimension. A sharp center fold at the back of the bodice creates a three-dimensional V shape, subtly accentuating the waist while flowing seamlessly into an incredible inverted pleat that doubles as a fishtail train, creating an asymmetric hem while allowing for greater ease of movement. A structural masterpiece, this sophisticated gown will draw attention whatever the occasion, and certainly is, as Miyake once said of his clothes, a tool for the “wearers creativity.”
Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Permanent Collection, this 1989 Issey Miyake dress is in excellent condition. Unlined, the dress slips over the head for easy wear and has been professionally eco dry cleaned and pressed. High-quality vintage pieces like this are yours to live in and love while increasing in value every year. It’s never too soon to start collecting them, as an investment in your wardrobe—and in yourself.