There's no mistaking an HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE piece. The look is instantly recognisable: crisply pleated garments in free-flowing silhouettes and in all manner of colours. An offshoot of the main Issey Miyake brand, HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE is the male counterpart to PLEATS PLEASE, and was first introduced through a high-octane performance by Japan's Aomori University Men’s Rhythmic Gymnastics Team in 2013. Despite HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE's atypical designs (at least for activewear), the clothes are crafted to be unrestrictive and thus, appropriate for a wide range of movements.
For autumn/winter 2019, HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE reiterated the ease and versatility of its clothes with a performance that's part acrobatic, part dance, and completely joyful. Playground was performed at Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou and was a result of another collaboration with Daniel Ezralow. The American choreographer first worked with HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE for its aforementioned debut, and is perhaps more famously known for choreographing the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, and the Broadway adaptation of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
Just like the name suggests, the performance space was set like a gymnastic playground, complete with a tightrope, a row of gym rings, and climbing ropes. The 19-minute performance started off like a Disney animated film, with the assist of Johann Strauss' light 'The Blue Danube', as performers began entering the space and then exchanging their HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE jackets with one another. The acts varied in intensity as the performance progressed. In one, a group of dancers in block-cut pleated coats, popped and locked as they seemed to be charmed by the sounds of a chime.
The performance ended in a crescendo as the entire cast returned and reprised their movements for an ensemble finale.
HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE doesn't hold seasonal runway presentations, unlike the main Issey Miyake line. Playground is in fact, its first artistic presentation during fashion week. But with clothes that require large movements that no ordinary runway walk could provide, a choreographed performance art is the best way to showcase the brand's revolutionary clothes. And such joy and freedom for a fashion-centric presentation is always a welcomed change.
HOMME PLISSÉ ISSEY MIYAKE is available at L1-17 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.