Issey Miyake Menswear Spring Summer 2014 Paris

27 year-old Yusuke Takahashi still has the round-faced look of a student, but if his geometric, eye-catching footwear is anything to go by, his design identity is well formed. Days ago his nomination as designer of the Issey Miyake menswear line was made public, announced by Mr Miyake himself, an accolade the young man described post-show as “a lot of pressure but very fun”.

Takahashi is no newcomer in the house though, having worked for the past three years in the design team under the founder’s direction. “[He] is like a teacher to all of us, to me,” the new designer confided. “What is culture, what is fashion are questions we discuss daily with him.”

This culture of dialog and observation (“Open the Window and Look at the World” read the show notes) promoted in-house is expressed through the apparently basic approach taken by the new designer. There was not a revolutionary technical fabric in sight, it was all summer staples of cotton and linen, nor departures in style, as tunics, shorts, jackets all impeccable in cut took to the runway. Different dyeing methods, remixed from traditional textile techniques shopped around the world, came together in an energized manner, their subtle riffs blending well with the telltale Issey Miyake codes.

Issey Miyake spring-summer 2014 nevertheless appeared to break fresh ground, and Takahashi in establishing his distinctive stamp already: it was in the bleach tie-dye, in the green and blue crinkled coat, in the crackled marble effect, in the blurred spots of color staining denim, all beautiful accidents that spoke of mastered techniques.

Modesty may have dictated to the new man of the house not to show off too blatantly for his debut but he’s definitely there, represented in the youthful combination of shorts, slip-ons and a backpack that Takahashi admitted to being his uniform of choice for summer travels. The prelude to the show, models walking around the glass canopy above the brand’s headquarters, throwing open windows, drove home the idea that we were beginning to see a whole new world.

- Lily Templeton