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1990s Japanese Sunglasses
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Issey Miyake for sale on 1stDibs
From the prismatic Pleats Please collection to the modular, three-dimensional garments crafted from recycled plastic bottles in his Reality Lab, the captivating fashions by Japanese designer Issey Miyake are all about movement.
Born in Hiroshima, Miyake studied graphic design at Tama Art University in Tokyo before relocating to Paris in 1965, where he studied couture and cut his teeth working for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy. In 1969, he moved to New York, where he worked for Geoffrey Beene. He returned to Tokyo in 1970 to found his first solo venture, the Miyake Design Studio. It wasn’t until the 1990s, though, that the designer had his breakthrough moment with experimentations in pleating. Some of his earliest explorations were for choreographer William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet Company, with the 1991 performance of The Loss of Small Detail featuring costumes Miyake designed with pleats that complemented and transformed the movement of the dancers.
Though long a staple in couture — from delicate women’s skirts to men’s suit pants — pleats took on new life in Miyake’s hands. By using a heat press to cure his fabrics after his garments are stitched, Miyake was able to maintain the accordion structure of the pleat, turning a series of folds into sculptural, often futuristic forms unbound by the shape of the human body. In 1993, Miyake debuted “garment pleating” in his Pleats Please line, in which the clothes are constructed at a size that is larger than what is intended for the finished product. The pleats are then created — a process that involves folding and ironing and is separate from the joining of seams — and individual pieces are subsequently hand-fed into a heat press. The pleats are permanent and the garments can be worn and washed without losing their shape.
Miyake’s pleats run the gamut in scale, which enabled him to evoke dramatic, sharp silhouettes and flowy movements in equal measure. In essence, he created an entirely new material whose iterations are infinite — a feat of technology as much as fashion.
Other innovations include Miyake’s 1997 Just Before collection, which introduced a series of tube-knit dresses that could be cut as desired, reducing both work and resources. His Reality Lab now investigates new materials, such as a fully recycled polyester. Miyake’s prowess, in fact, captured another iconic figure in the tech world: Steve Jobs, for whom the designer made hundreds of identical black turtlenecks, the late Apple founder’s sartorial signature.
Fashion of the 1990s
For fashion lovers, the 1990s have become associated with styles adopted by today’s supermodels and influencers, who never wear the same thing twice. And because fast fashion didn’t yet exist, the design associated with 1990s fashion — vintage '90s handbags, clothing and accessories — has a quality appreciated by the millennial generation: authenticity.
If there was one concept unifying 1990s fashion, it was the lean silhouette. “Fashion is a game of proportion,” Alexander Fury wrote in the New York Times in 2016. “Narrow-shouldered and narrow-hipped, the ’90s were skinny.”
If it takes a practiced eye to identify that single concept, that’s because in truth, ’90s fashion was many things to many people. After the 1980s era of strong-shouldered working women, glossy aerobicized bodies and Madonna, fashion branched out.
The industry gained momentum from big-money relaunches of the great Paris houses Dior, Givenchy and Balenciaga, rescued at long last from the constraints of licensing. Japan and Belgium gave fashion new avant-garde ideas to play with. From America came denim, minimalism, grunge and hip-hop. From Italy came sex appeal. And Prada.
For the colorful corsets of her 1990 Portrait collection, audacious British designer Dame Vivienne Westwood drew on 18th-century oil paintings — her models donned the pearl choker necklaces that have become a social media star and a favorite of influencers and fashion lovers all over the world. For a jacket-and-shorts suit from her Fall/Winter 1996–97 Storm in a Teacup line, the designer used the extreme asymmetry of a tartan mash-up to confront, according to Westwood, “the horror of uniformity and minimalism.”
“The ethos of the time was, you could have style, you could be into all kinds of cool stuff. It wasn’t about money, it wasn’t about status,” says Katy Rodriguez, cofounder of Resurrection. In contrast, “our last 10 years have seen the domination of nonstop luxury, money and status.”
Vintage 1990s Chanel bags, for example, are among the most prized of the brand’s offerings — at Newfound Luxury, proprietor L. Kiyana Macon has "clients who only buy ’90s Chanel because they recognize that it is the best quality.”
Things were different in the ’90s, and the difference is reflected in the clothes. Pull up any recent “How to Do the 1990s” fashion article (or look at photos of current supermodels Gigi, Kendall and Bella), and you’ll see knee socks, cardigans, fanny packs, fishnet stockings, slip dresses, flannel shirts and combat boots.
Rodriguez has recently noticed something similar happening. Before COVID, customers searched 1990s stock “for very sexy Galliano, Dior, Cavalli — that kind of thing,” she explains, noting that just a few months ago, “people were posting [on social media] the poshest things they could.” Now, in the age of shutdown, “that would just look out of touch.”
Instead, people are looking for “things that are cool but also easy and comfortable, not necessarily super-luxe,” Rodriguez continues. They’re “heading back to the more avant-garde, anti-fashion designers, like Helmut Lang, [Martin] Margiela and [Ann] Demeulemeester.”
Late designer Franco Moschino shocked and titillated the ’80s fashion elite with his whimsical, irreverent parodies of bourgeois finery. Whether emblazoning a sober blazer with smiley faces or embellishing a skirt suit with cutlery, Moschino rendered high style with a hearty wink. He famously said, “If you can’t be elegant, at least be extravagant” — words that, with all due respect to Susan Sontag, epitomize the essence of camp. Vintage Moschino pants, jackets and other '90s Moschino garments remain so bold and fresh today that even the house's former creative director, Jeremy Scott, drew on the brand's past and the pop culture of the decade for his debut collection in 2014.
Finding the Right sunglasses for You
A pair of vintage or designer sunglasses can be a game-changing finishing touch to your ensemble.
No matter your age or general fashion sensibility, wearing sunglasses may already be part of your regular outdoor routine owing to their practicality. Most sunglasses protect the eyes from harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays — and not merely on sunny days. Glasses that utilize color-enhancing lenses, which feature specific coatings or filter tints, can limit the amount of light coming through, while polarized lenses substantially reduce glare.
So while their usefulness is well known, let’s face it, a good pair of sunglasses can be stylish too.
People have been making a statement with iconic eyewear for a while — sunglasses garnered popularity with the Hollywood set in the early 1900s, when it wasn’t uncommon for a hip actress to be photographed in a pair of her sharpest shades. Today, we’re still talking about the sunglasses that Audrey Hepburn — the original trendsetter — donned in the opening scene of 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She emerges from the flagship store of the legendary luxury house referenced in the film’s title in a pair of glamorous dark tortoiseshell frames designed by London eyewear firm Oliver Goldsmith Sunglasses. Indeed, celebrities have long held sway in the sunglasses realm — perhaps you’ve opted for vintage Ray-Ban sunglasses because you’re enamored with Marilyn Monroe’s celebrated Wayfarers or you’ve taken to classic Aviators because actor Jon Hamm wore them in the nostalgic TV smash hit Mad Men. Whether these sunglasses set you off or you’re hunting for the hexagonal standouts that musician Lenny Kravitz lost, good frames are a surefire way to take your style to the next level.
When shopping for the right pair of sunglasses, consider the color and shape of the frames (as well as the shape of your face), how dark or light the lenses are — or tint, if you’re leaning toward a chic gradient lens. Take your time, spring for more than one pair because different moods call for different shades and, while you’re at it, make sure you know how to spot a pair of fake Ray-Ban sunglasses before you make that purchase.
On 1stDibs, all of our Ray-Bans are highly vetted, and our collection of vintage sunglasses features classics from Cartier, Chanel and other designers and brands as well as a wide range that can be sorted by color — find sleek black sunglasses, brown pairs and a whole lot of other eye-catching options, whether it’s sunny outside or not.
- Where can I buy Issey Miyake?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022In the U.S., you will generally need to buy Issey Miyake through an authorized third-party brick-and-mortar retailer or on a reputable online platform. The brand-owned stores are only in Japan, and the official website does not sell directly to customers. You'll find a selection of Issey Miyake on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Issey Miyake designs women's apparel with a distinctive contemporary style. Many of the brand's designs feature three-dimensional flourishes, such as dramatic pleats. Asymmetrical silhouettes and bold abstract prints are other common characteristics of the designer's looks. Shop a collection of Issey Miyake apparel on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The line Pleats Please by Issey Miyake is crafted from polyester material that allows it to stay crisply pleated over time. Browse a range of authentic Pleats Please by Issey Miyake pieces from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022To wash Issey Miyake Pleats Please apparel, follow the care instructions printed on the wash tag. For most pieces, launder in warm water in a washing machine. Use a laundry bag to prevent snagging. Remove the garment from the wash and reshape the pleats by hand. Then, allow it to dry flat in a shady ventilated area. On 1stDibs, find a selection of Issey Miyake apparel.
- What is Issey Miyake Fete?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Issey Miyake Fete is a women’s fashion line by designer Issey Miyake that embraces bright colors and eye-catching silhouettes. It takes its inspiration from the French word fête, meaning party, festival or celebration. Shop a collection of Issey Miyake Fete pieces on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022You can buy the Bao Bao bag by Issey Miyake online from their official website. This eye-catching geometric-detailed bag can also be found online, sold by one of their retail partners. Find a range of Issey Miyake Bao Bao bags from top boutiques around the world on 1stDibs.
- How do I pronounce Issey Miyake?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022To pronounce Issey Miyake, say "I-see mee-AH-kee." The vowel in the first syllable of the first word sounds like the "I" in the word "Interview." Issey Miyake is both the name of a fashion brand and the Japanese designer who founded it. On 1stDibs, find a range of Issey Miyake apparel.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Issey Miyake features an official website where you can place an online order. You may also find Issey Miyake products sold online by a variety of its retail partners. Browse a range of authentic Issey Miyake pieces from top sellers on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022To spot fake Issey Miyake clothing, examine the labels to ensure that the logo is in the correct font and that information printed on the sales tags and the labels matches. Because spotting counterfeits can be challenging, the brand advises customers to contact them directly with questions about authenticity. You'll find a collection of expertly vetted Issey Miyake clothing on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022How to tie an Issey Miyake caftan is largely a matter of personal preference. One of the selling points of the piece is that you can wear it a number of ways. Try styling it open as a cardigan or wrapping it around your body like a dress and tying it on the side or in the back. Shop a selection of Issey Miyake apparel on 1stDibs.