FashionGraphic DesignPrintmaking

Issey Miyake | Ikko Tanaka

posted by Alice Harrison October 24, 2016

Modernist simplicity, Japanese iconography and a sophisticated admiration for strong geometrical forms are all distinctive qualities shared by Japanese fashion label Issey Miyake and influential graphic designer Ikko Tanaka. Issey Miyake has just unveiled the second collection of its 2016 series influenced by the iconic works of the acclaimed graphic designer, specifically featuring garments inspired by two of Tanaka’s designs created in the 1990s, Face and Bokugi.


Both communicating contrasting aesthetics, Face is referenced literally through the adorning of accessories and garments with conceptual facial features while the composition of the geometric colour blocking which decorates the tunics and dresses is presented in an abstract fashion to perfectly reference Tanaka’s powerful visual language.



Vibrancy and structure is swapped for a monochrome palette and mark-making aesthetic when subject to Issey Miyake’s interpretation of Tanaka’s Bokugi. Stark white linen garments are beautifully decorated with the dextrous markings of traditional brush calligraphy and ink painting, ever-embedding Ikko Tanaka’s legacy of expertly fusing both eastern and western design. Additionally, a set of portable lamps are decorated in the same fashion and can be folded flat when not in use.


Issey Miyake and Ikko Tanaka met in the 1960’s and maintained an enduring friendship, thus it is the respect for Tanaka’s works and gratitude to subsequent ideas that led to the birth of the series. The evoking of energy is dominant throughout as the clothing is designed to intensify Tanaka’s vision through the three-dimensional format, exemplified through the movement of the wearer as the motion breathes new life into the graphics presented in their original forms.


Photography: Francis Giacobetti.

Alice Harrison

Alice Harrison

Author at People of Print
Alice Harrison

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