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Issey Miyake, influential Japanese fashion designer, dies aged 84

Issey Miyake, influential Japanese fashion designer, dies aged 84

Written by Hilary Clarke, CNN

Contributors Junko OguraIrene NasserOscar Holland

Issey Miyake, the Japanese fashion designer whose timeless pleats made him an industry favorite, has died aged 84. He died of cancer on August 5, his office confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.

A funeral service has already been held with his family and close friends, his office said, adding that a memorial ceremony will not be held, in line with the designer’s wishes.

Miyake rose to international prominence in the 1980s with avant-garde designs that those who could afford his luxury pieces immediately regarded as collector’s items. Today, his designs are preserved at institutions including London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

He also found a lifelong customer in Steve Jobs, who wore his black turtlenecks almost exclusively from the 1980s onward.  

Issey Miyake pictured in Tokyo in 2015. Credit: Masahiro Sugimoto/The Yomiuri/Reuters

Miyake was born in the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1938. The bomb that was dropped on the city in 1945 left him with a pronounced limp that would follow him through adulthood, and his mother died three years later from radiation exposure.

Determined not to be labeled as the designer who escaped the atomic bomb, he didn’t mention his traumatic childhood until 2009, when he wrote about the experience in an op-ed in support of nuclear disarmament, published in the New York Times.

Miyake studied graphic design at Tokyo’s Tama Art University before moving to Paris in 1965. There, he enrolled at the renowned tailoring and dressmaking school École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne.

A model walks the runway for Issey Miyake at Paris Fashion Week's Spring-Summer 2018 edition.

A model walks the runway for Issey Miyake at Paris Fashion Week’s Spring-Summer 2018 edition. Credit: Richard Bord/WireImage/Getty Images

While in Paris, Miyake worked for Guy Laroche and Hubert de Givenchy, two of the biggest names in haute couture, before moving to New York to assist Geoffrey Beene.

In 1970, he founded his own design studio in Tokyo. His early designs skillfully blended East and West, using Japanese embroidery techniques and tattoo designs.

It was during the 1980s that he began to develop a new fabric that could expanded vertically with hundreds of tiny folds. He drew inspiration from the pleated silk Delphos gowns designed by Henriette Negrin and her husband Mariano Fortuny in the early 1900s.

Issey Miyake pictured during Paris Fashion Week in the early 1990s.

Issey Miyake pictured during Paris Fashion Week in the early 1990s. Credit: PL Gould/Images/Getty Images

Miyake took their idea a step forward, blending traditional and newly developed techniques to create permanently pleated garments that were at once avant-garde and comfortable, architectural and natural.

He never stopped innovating. In 2007, Miyake launched his Reality Lab to explore durable and environmentally sustainable materials.

In addition to his clothing, Miyake was also known for his line of fragrances. The first, L’Eau d’Issey, was launched in 1992 and became an international bestseller.

Related video: Behind the scenes at the Issey Miyake show during Paris Fashion Week

Miyake received multiple awards for his work as a fashion designer and as an artist. In 2005, the Japan Arts Association awarded him a Praemium Imperiale for his outstanding achievement in the arts. A year later he became the first fashion designer to receive the Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy for lifetime achievement.

In 2016, the French government awarded Miyake the prestigious Legion of Honor, and the National Art Center in Tokyo staged the most comprehensive exhibition of Miyake’s career.

To the very end, Miyake remained faithful to the craft of the couturier that he had learned as a young man.

“Technology is valuable in a world with diminishing resources in terms of lowering waste and facilitating mass production,” he told CNN in 2016, “but we can never lose sight of the power of the touch of human hands.”

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Reasons why you should go for Custom Diamond Engagement Rings

Custom Diamond Engagement Rings

Engagement is a grand celebration of two souls deciding to share their life. Hence, everything must be perfect. One of the things that make the engagement so special is the engagement ring. There are a plethora of options when it comes to choosing a diamond ring, but not every ring can reflect the story of your love. Choosing a trendy custom diamond engagement ring and presenting it to your loved one is a great way of expressing your emotions. It gives you the leverage to make a ring that satisfies your requirements and reflects your intense feeling for your loved one. But, choosing a custom-made ring involves a lot of intricacies. In this blog, we will be unfolding certain tips that will help you choose the custom diamond engagement rings.

Custom Diamond Engagement Rings

Tips to follow:

1. Sketching the idea– the first step is to sketch the design of the ring that you won’t wear in the near future. If you are not good at it, your jeweler will do it for you. Most of the jewelry stores now have a jewelry designer who will help you design the sketch. This is an important part of creating a custom-made ring. A good sketch will give you a glimpse of how the final product will look like. Once you are fine with the sketch, you can jump on to the next step.

2. Choosing the material- Well, there are choices like gold and platinum for the base material. Based on your budget and preferences, you can choose the material for your ring. Gold is the most conventional and uncovered choice for creating custom rings for engagement. However, platinum is also a good choice. So, you can choose between the two. Diamonds are the best way to show your love. You can opt for a solitaire ring or rings that have many diamonds studs ingrained in it. It all depends on what kind of design you are looking for; there are few who prefer minimalistic design while others try to make it extravagant. Speak to your jewelry designer about the same.

3. Prepare a 3D computer rendering- Yes, this is the boon of technology that will give you a glimpse of what the final ring would look like. Your jewelry designer will help you in creating the same. You can also do some changes to the design on this 3D display, to gauge how it would finally look. Irrespective of the kind of design you are looking for, don’t miss the taste and preferences of your partner before finalizing the design and sending it for making.

4. The bespoke design comes at a good cost- You don’t get engaged every day, it’s a special day, and hence, you must choose a design that reflects your love for your partner. But, remember, the more the extravagant is the design, the more is the cost. So, you must set a budget before you go ahead and choose a design.

5. Get the guarantee– A good jeweler would not mind guaranteeing their workmanship. Besides, they also guarantee to provide you with authentic diamonds and gold. Make sure that the material used for making the custom diamond engagement rings are hallmarked, which is a guarantee of the authenticity of the product.

Custom Diamond Engagement Rings
Custom Diamond Engagement Rings

You always have the option of choosing between a ready-made ring and custom diamond engagement rings, irrespective of your choices; you must invest in good quality and authentic ring. However, if you are looking for custom diamond engagement rings, then the above-mentioned tips will help you in getting the right design, which will make your engagement a memorable one.