Marveling at the balance between nature and man-made seemed to be a particularly on-theme train of thought as guests to Issey Miyake Men’s took place among the ferns of the Musée du Quai Branly. "Artificial structures like power pillars are not beautiful in themselves," designer Yusuke Takahashi later said, to explain his attraction to Yoshinori Mizutani, an emerging Tokyoite landscape photographer whose work featured heavily. "But the compositions in his vision are powerful." For the past few seasons, Takahashi has been dabbling in prints, offering collections both wearable and artistically-inclined.
Certainly, the colors which infused much of the collection owed as much to the natural realm as they did to the artificial, and provided salience in the handsome, if classic, shapes of this line-up. Like the flashy yellow parrots of his invitation, the models stood out against the leafy backdrop. And like them, careful observation provided fascinating details: underarm vents opening shirt sleeves, skinny crinkled jogging pants – in short, a host of options to layer for the traveller wanting to revisit the source pictures on their own. Overlock embroidery on a car coat zinged visually. A jumpsuit looked nonchalant, and multi-colored brogues figured a Mexican souvenir. The sunglasses, a collaboration with Japanese eyewear Kaneko to officially launch in September at the Silmo optical tradeshow, further enhanced the air of coolness his models exuded.
"I wanted to show simple, minimal, beautiful street styles," he later said in conversation. Whether he spoke about the man on the street or the codified peacocking outside the shows was lost in translation. In either case, when it comes to standing out against a dreary urban backdrop, Issey Miyake Men’s is not a bad choice, actually.