Accidental Icon: Miyake, the Wind and Me
One of the challenges of style blogging is finding inspiration for writing and photography that does not become repetitive and boring. My usual method for generating new ideas is through collaboration and conversation with others. However, for various reasons having to do with not getting enough sleep, yesterday in particular, I had no ideas and no desire to emerge from my cocoon so to speak, and talk to anyone. Not wanting to go further than my building, I turned to my ever-faithful Japanese designers and the easy monochrome of black and white and headed to the roof. With no vision in my head I just decided to put myself, Miyake and the wind together and see what could emerge.
Some of the most iconic photos of Miyake clothing came from his 13 year collaboration, or "non-collaboration" with the photographer Irving Penn. Essentially, Miyake would send Penn some clothes from his Paris shows but he himself would not attend the photo shoot. Similarly Penn did not ever attend a runway show. The two never spoke, never shared a direction, both wishing to achieve a state of pure inspiration and having only what could be called a visual dialog. "I was looking for the one person who could look at my clothing, hear my voice, and answer me back through his own creation. I searched long for such a person and found in Penn-san," said Miyake in Irving Penn: A Career in Photography (1997). The photographer found creative inspiration in the clothes and had his models strike odd, unnatural poses to exaggerate the curves and shapes of the clothes. Miyake found inspiration for new collections and themes through seeing his pieces from the vantage point and eyes of Penn.
So this lovely story of "non-collaboration" that gave rise to beautiful art becomes my inspiration for today's post. Like Penn, for me the most interesting aspect of clothing is the voice of the designer and what story they are trying to tell. The voices in my clothes help me to know what to choose like they did for today and the way I wear the clothes is my answer in return. Miyake garments always say to me, "If you wear me I will move and become who you want me to be today". The other silent partner in this shoot, of course outside of Calvin, is the wind.
What are your clothes saying to you about who designed them?