Issey Miyaki

He is recognized worldwide for his contemporary, industrial and innovative apparel designs, fragrances and exhibitions. His work cuts the edge of science and fashion, combining the two into a harmonizing symphony using unconventional materials.

Issey Miyake was born on April 22, 1938, in Hiroshima, Japan. In the 1960s, he designed for Givenchy in Paris, after which he designed for Geoffrey Beene in Manhattan. In 1970, Miyake started his own design studio. During the 1970s, he toyed with avant-garde Eastern designs. In the 1980s, he began using technology new East meets West textiles. He started Pleats Please in 1993 and A Piece of Cloth in 1999.

In the late 1980s, he began to experiment with new methods of pleating that would allow both flexibility of movement for the wearer as well as ease of care and production. In which the garments are cut and sewn first, then sandwiched between layers of paper and fed into a heat press, where they are pleated. The fabric’s ‘memory’ holds the pleats and when the garments are liberated from their paper cocoon, they are ready-to wear. He did the costume for Ballett Frankfurt with pleats in a piece named “the Loss of Small Detail” William Forsythe and also work on ballet “Garden in the setting”.

Issey Miyake lines and brands
Mr Miyake “oversees the overall direction of all lines created by his company”, even though the individual collections have been designed by his staff since his ‘retirement’ from the fashion world in 1997.


Issey Miyake – main collection line, subdivided into men (since 1978/85) and women (since 1971) collections, designed by Dai Fujiwara[7] (succeeded Naoki Takizawa in 2006)
Issey Miyake Fête – colorful women’s line that “draws on the technological innovations of Pleats Please” (Fête means ‘celebration’ in French) (since 2004)
Pleats Please Issey Miyake – polyester jersey garments for women that are first “cut and sewn and then pleated […] (normally, fabric is first pleated and then cut and sewn […])” “to permanently retain washboard rows of horizontal, vertical or diagonal knife-edge pleats.”Miyake patented the technique in 1993
HaaT – women’s line, designed by Miyake’s former textile designer, Makiko Minagawa. HaaT means ‘village market’ in Sanskrit, the word sound similar to ‘heart’ in English
A-POC – 1998- custom-collection for men and women. Tubes of fabric are machine-processed and can be cut into various shapes by the consumer. A-POC is an acronym of ‘a piece of cloth’, and a near homonym of ‘epoch’.
132 5. Issey Miyake – an evolution of the A-POC concept. Works are presented as two-dimensional geometric shapes made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate mixed with natural fibers and dyes, which then unfold into structured garments. (since 2014)
me Issey Miyake – line of “exclusive one-sized shirts that stretch to fit the wearer” that are sold in plastic tube, named Cauliflower for the non-Asian market. (since 2001)
Bao Bao Issey Miyake – line of bags
Issey Miyake Watches – men’s and women’s watches
Issey Miyake Perfumes – line of fragrances for men and women. See below
Evian by Issey Miyake – Limited edition bottle designed by Issey Miyake for Evian water.
Issey Miyake maintains a freestanding store, named ELTTOB TEP Issey Miyake (reverse for ‘Pet Bottle’) in Osaka where the full array of lines is available.
21 21 Design Sight (a play on 20/20 vision) is a museum-style research center for design, constructed by Tadao Ando, that was opened in Roppongi, Tokyo in March 2007. The center is headed by Issey Miyake and four other Japanese designers, and operated by The Miyake Issey Foundation.
The Miyake Issey Foundation, founded in Tokyo in 2004, operates the 21_21 Design Sight center, organizes exhibitions and events, and publishes literature.

In 2005, he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture.
Miyake won the Arts and Philosophy Kyoto Prize in 2006
Japan’s Order of Culture, 2010
XXIII Premio Compasso d’Oro ADI, 2014, for family of lamps IN-EI Issey Miyake, Artemide.




History and Culture of Andalusia, Spain

Andalusia is Spain’s southernmost region, and home to many of the iconic cultural elements that make Spain stand out from the rest of Europe.and it’s the one which evokes the most powerful images of a country famed for its flamenco, fiestas, bullfighting and raw passion. The distinctly Andalusian way of life can be discovered in cities like Seville, Córdoba and Granada, as well as smaller towns like Cádiz, Jaén and Jerez de la Frontera. It has a distinctive culture influenced by its hot Mediterranean climate, its historical tolerance of diverse ethnic groups (including Jews and Gypsies), and, most important, its long period of rule by the Moors. The word “Andalusia” is derived from the Moorish name for Spain—Al-Andalus.


Andalusia was once occupied by the Romans, and later by the Visigoths. The Moors of North Africa conquered the region in the 8th century and dominated much of the Iberian Peninsula for several hundred years, instilling their culture in everything from the science and architecture to the food and drink. The Catholic monarchs of Spain would eventually reclaim Andalusia, and a blending of cultures ensued. Evidence of this cultural merger remains today, appearing almost everywhere in the region’s historic buildings and unique customs.

Traditional Arts and Crafts

In addition to their leather crafts, Andalusians are known for their ceramics, which are distinguished by the geometric designs that originated with the Moors. (Islamic culture prohibits the representation of living things in art.) The art of Andalusian builders and stone carvers has survived in such famous buildings as the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the Giralda Tower in Seville, and the mosque in the city of Córdoba.


Best known among Spain’s folkloristic tradition is certainly Flamenco. It is the musical tradition in the country’s south, in particular in Andalusia which is a passionate art form that has been burning in for nearly five hundred years. The genre has its influences in Jewish and Islamic music that was transformed by the gypsies of southern Spain. Flamenco features staccato tap dancing, rhythmic guitar strumming and passionate singing. Originally linked to vagabonds and the lower class, flamenco became the music of the masses. Rustic taverns and decorated caves have long been the preferred venues for flamenco, and visitors can still grab a drink and watch a live flamenco show in the numerous haunts around cities like Seville and Granada.

Traditional costumes can be seen at the region’s many festivals especially in flamenco dance performances. Women’s attire consists of solid-coloured or polka-dot dresses with tightly fitted bodices and flounced skirts and sleeves. These are worn with mantillas(lacy scarves worn over the hair and shoulders), long earrings, and hair ornaments such as combs or flowers. Male flamenco dancers wear white shirts with black suits and broad-brimmed black hats.

The flamenco dress was the basic day wear for the gypsies and low class Spanish women in the late XIX century and beginning of the following. It was basically worn to do the house work. However, with popularization and for the April Fair of Seville, woman began accompanying their husbands and for the occasion they wore their best dresses. Also became a way of breaking the barriers between high and low social classes. It turned into a way of showing off and standing out in such popular event. It quickly became known as the typical Andalusian dress, influencing many designers along the way, even in the present.


Origins of French Lingerie ~ Traditional Cultural Design




History of Lingerie Fabrics and Lingerie Styles

Lingerie’s unique history traces back to 3000 BC in Egypt. Figurines throughout ancient times suggested different types of undergarments were worn even then. The word Lingerie originated from the French word “linge” meaning “linen” and was not frequently used until the late 1850’s. The soft linen’s during the Middle Ages were worn by nobility for the sheer purpose of modesty, hygiene and warmth. At that time they were bulky, uncomfortable and designed to flatten breasts while contouring the body in a female silhouette. While in the 16th Century a chemise, petticoats and corsets were designed to accentuate the female form, mainly to tease and entice men. It was considered scandalous in those days to even mention the word undergarments.

In classical Greece, several female statues wear a crossed band over their shoulders and across the breast, as in the famous statue of the charioteer at Delphi. The Odyssey and Iliad mention women’s undergarments, as does Herodotus, Aristophanes, and the later Hellenistic writer Lacian (Ewing 1972). In these texts, women are described as wearing a band of linen known as the zoné around the waist and lower torso to shape and control them. Other Greek words also appear to describe women’s undergarments, including the apodesmos (meaning a band, breast band, or girdle), mastodeton (or breast band, which actually flattens the bust) and, occasionally, mastodesmos (with a similar meaning) (Ewing 1972). These garments appear to presage the bra as well as the corset.


A famous Roman mosaic from A.D. 400 shows several women wearing what appear to be bikinis or briefs

Roman women followed Greek fashion closely. The Roman poet Martial describes a cestus, which is similar to the Greek zoné but wider, and Cicero also mentions a strophium or breast band. Other Roman terms describing women’s underclothing include the mamillere and fascia, which were tight bands of cloth that primarily supported the bust rather than the abdomen. A famous mosaic from A.D. 400 shows several women wearing what appear to be bikinis or briefs (Ewing 1972). For both the Greeks and the Romans, underclothing (which sometimes was worn as outer clothing as well) was designed more for function than exclusively aesthetic reasons.

In France in particular, the Middle Ages saw the rise of French lingerie with the introduction of the chemise in the fourth century. However, it wasn’t until the fourteenth century that lingerie began to be used as a shaping garment in France with the introduction of the cotte – a stiff piece of linen that was slipped under the bodice to flatten out the breast.

Since Elizabethan times and the introduction of the corset, the French have been at the forefront of designing gorgeous and sexy underwear. What’s more, during the French Revolution, French women rejected the fashionable corset for more loose fitting underwear with only an inbuilt bustier.
The French Revolution in the late 1700s also revolutionized women’s lingerie. French women begin discarding petticoats, corsets, and camisoles as symbols of French aristocracy in favor of the “un-corset,” or a type of corset without stiffening. In a deliberate return to classic Greece, the birthplace of the freedom that revolutionary France was proclaiming, women sometimes would wear a band wrapped around the body similar to the Greek zoné under slim, high-waisted muslins that echoed Grecian rounded breasts and well-rounded figures (Ewing 1972).

The term lingerie was originally introduced into the English language in the 1850s. However, rather than simply describing ‘washables’ as it does in French, the English adoption of the word brought with it an implication of undergarments that were scandalous and sexy.

“Without proper foundations, there can be no fashion.” Christian Dior

Of course, lingerie has been around a lot longer than the usage of the word; it was first evident in Ancient Egypt according to hieroglyphic representations. Clothing in 3000 BCE was considered to carry a certain degree of status, with only the very privileged wearing undergarments to mould the shape of their silhouette – not so dissimilar to today’s society.

In the hundreds of years that have followed, lingerie has been used to shape women’s bodies in all sorts of interesting shapes, according to the fashion at the time.

Lingerie is a big industry in France, with women spending an average of 20% of their style budget every year on these silken goods. Classic French style is timeless, chic and always polished. Just think of modern day style icon Marion Cotillard. So often Cotillard wears simple lines in classic black and white and yet the contrast in shades gives her look a modern yet understated elegance.


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Go ahead, mention them: A touring show on the history of French lingerie

Ewing, Elizabeth. 1976. Underwear: A History. New York, NY: Theatre Arts Books.

Kunzle, David. 2004. Fashion and Fetishism: Corsets, Tight-Lacing and Other Forms of Body—Sculpture. Thrupp, UK: Sutton Publishing Limited.

Steele, Valerie. 2001. The Corset: A Cultural History. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Workman, Nancy. 1996. “From Victorian to Victoria’s Secret: The Foundations of Modern Erotic Wear. Journal of Popular Culture. 30.2, 61-73.

Moroccan Style and History

Moroccan architecture is rich, alluring, and as varied as the landscape of the country itself. Its long history of indigenous Berber people and a series of foreign invaders as well as religious and cultural influences have shaped the countries architectural styles. The architecture can range from ornate with bold colours to simple, clean lines with earth tones. Morocco’s architecture has been described as exotic, majestic, eclectic, contemporary and traditional a true mix.

Influences from the Arab world, Spain, Portugal and France still can be seen in Moroccan architecture, both on their own and blended with Berber and Islamic styles. Among the buildings, and old Kasbah walls, sit French style-towns left behind by colonisation and intersect with intricately detailed mosques and riad-style homes. The riad-style home is a Moroccan traditional house, normally with two or more storeys designed around a U shaped courtyard that contained a fountain. These style of homes were usually built for the wealthy and were inward focused, which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. This inward focus was expressed with a centrally placed interior lush garden and designed with minimal large windows on the exterior walls of clay or mud brick. This design principle found support in Islamic notions of privacy.

Some other distinctive features of Moroccan architecture include geometric patterns and bright colours, most notably in the tiles known as zellij. These tiles commonly referred to as Mosaics were made from individually chiseled geometric tiles set into a plater base. This particular form of Islamic art is one of the main characteristics of Berber and Moroccan architecture which are used to decorate walls, ceilings, fountains, floors, pools and tables.

The architectural elements of Moroccan design do not stop at the exterior building design or interior works of the walls and ceiling. Every door, surface and piece of furniture placed inside the home can be of the highest art qualities. Made using the finest earth elements such as iron and wood, using paints and natural colours of the landscape surrounding the place, Moroccans place a great deal of emphasis on all aspects of their constructed spaces.

Both the exterior and interior components of Moroccan architecture are produced by hand by crafters from generations of Moroccans who pass their craft down from father to son. While the next generation make sure to add some of their modern ideas, the sense of tradition in how they are crafted will never dissolve. Today, Moroccan interior and style has never been so popular!

Links include;

Takashi Kono

In an era when the Japanese world of graphic design was shaken by the arrival of creative power of the US and Europe, Takashi Kono, an artist with the spirit of his Edo forebears, believed that what was of foreign origin was indeed “foreign,” and he hoped for a rebirth of Japanese forms and colors in commercial art. What he depicts are concisely abbreviated forms of nature: mountains, fields, flowers, animals, fish. But, with startling wit and forms and colours

One example of his work of this time is “Sheltered Weaklings-Japan”. The black background signifies the international politics surrounding Japan in the early 1950s and Japan is represented by a school of fish docilely trailing an enormous shark (USA). The tiny fish have diminutive white bodies and red circles for eyes.


Traditional Japanese clothing

When talking about fashion in Japan it is just impossible not to acknowledge the fact that Japanese people have an incredible sense of style. Fashion plays a huge role in Japanese peoples everyday life because they have a special attitude towards clothing. In Japan fashion is considered to be a simple way to express yourself, to manifest who you are, and to show others that you are aware of the newest trends.

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of  Japanese clothing is the Kimono, which literally translated simply means ‘clothing’. This traditional outfit is one of the most recognizable parts of Japanese culture. Although it is not commonly in use any more, you can still spot Japanese women wearing kimono from time to time, but in most cases it indicates some formal meeting, religious holidays or family ceremonies, such as weddings.  There are many types of kimono, each worn according to the persons age, marital status, season or event.

Formal traditional kimono wear.

The kimono first emerged in the Heian period in Japan, which lasted from 794 to 1192. Until the invention of the kimono, Japanese men and women wore separate upper and lower garments. During this period, a new style of dress developed known as the straight-line-cut kimono.

  • Furisode is a formal kimono type worn by young unmarried women. They are very colorful , bright, rich with patterns and  made of very fine quality silk. The Furisode Kimono is mostly worn for some social functions, as tea ceremony, ikebana classes or a wedding ceremony.


  •  Another formal kimono type is called Tomesode. It has the same social function as furisode with one basic difference, namely it is worn by married and older women only. The kimono has short sleeves, it’s designs are more solid and the colors are more subtle. Tomesode can be basically broken down into varied categories based on social they have.


  • The other type of traditional Japanese Kimono is called Yukata. This is a summer casual kimono worn by both men and women. For more formal occasions this kimono type can be accompanied by wooden sandals, called geta and obi belt wrapped around the waist. Yukata is lightweight cotton kimono  normally with very brightly coloured designs on it.  It is mostly worn for summer festivals and religious ceremonies such as Bon-Odori.


The main difference between men and women’s kimonos is the material used.  Typically, men’s kimonos are dark, subdued colors, like dark blue, black, brown, or green.  Usually, these are also matte fabrics with some having slight patterns.  Casual-styled ones are commonly textured and a little more brightly-colored, like light blue, green, or purple.  Occasionally, sumo wrestlers like to wear brighter colors, even fuchsia.  The formal kimono is colored plain black and it is made of silk and features shoulders, a chest, and a back with five Kamon.  Although, a kimono with three kamon is a little more formal.  These kimonos are worn with white accessories and undergarments.

Early Japanese samurai wear:

  • Hakama traditionally formed part of a complete outfit called a kamishimo worn by samurai and courtiers during the Edo period, the outfit included a formal kimono, hakama, and a sleeveless jacket with exaggerated shoulders called a kataginu.Unknown-2.jpegUnknown.jpegUnknown-1.jpegUnknown-3.jpeg

Norwegian Design

Architecture in Norway was always characterised by the need to protect people from the harsh long winters, wind and storms and to make the most of scarce building resources. In the early days transportation with primitive and builders largely had to rely on locally available materials.

One of the of most favourable buildings was a log building with horizontal logs notched at the corners, a technique thought to have come from the east of Scandinavia. At least 250 wooden houses predating the Black death in 1350 are preserved more or less intact in Norway. Most of these are log houses, some with added stave-built galleries or porches.  These homes were often built with sod or grass on their roofs in order to naturally insulate the homes during the cold winters.  Homes were built with the basis of survival rather than luxury this is why there were very simple.

After the introduction of Christianity, the centerpiece of many Medieval Norwegian towns became the wooden stave churches, which were constructed with ship masts and had long sloping roofs to shed the snow. These churches represented a major shift in the culture as these structures were much larger than homes and cost a great deal of time and money, showing the importance the people placed on the religion at the time.

From the 1300-1500s Bergen rose to power as a member of the Hanseatic League and the wharf section developed an architectural style to match their needs as a port as well as to represent their wealth. Unfortunately, these buildings were primarily constructed in wood and many have since burned down, although they always seem to be re-built in the same style.

In the 1900s Norway continued to adopt trends from Europe and today the city of Alesund has a huge number of Art Nouveau buildings, which were built after much of the city was burned down in 1904. Other large cities, such as Oslo also built in this style to a degree.

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Oceanic- Hawaiian History and Culture.

Hawaiian History

Ancient tribal Polynesians arrived on this virgin scene after long, amazing sea voyages in their double hulled canoes. The early Polynesians were an adventurous seafaring people with highly developed navigational skills. They used the sun, stars and wave patterns to find their directions. Ancient Polynesians even created incredible maps of wave patterns by binding sticks together. Bird flight paths and cloud patterns were used to discern where islands were located. Entire villages set forth upon ocean going double hulled canoes to discover unsettled islands.

Hawaii’s benign climate meant ancient Hawaiians lived their lives mostly outdoors, pursuing everyday activities in the midst of warm sunshine and gentle breezes. House structures and other buildings were used primarily for storage or as protection against rough weather.

Commoners generally had a single house while chiefs had a complex of separate houses used for different purposes. The grass house, or hale, followed the basic construction pattern common throughout Polynesia. The wooden framework consisted of ridegpole, rafters, and purlins or horizontal supports running between vertical wall posts. Thatching material – most commonly sweet-smelling pili grass – was tied to the purlins in bundles with thatch at the ridgepoles carefully layered and braided to prevent rain and wind from entering the house. Other thatching materials included various grasses, pandanus leaves, ti, sugar cane leaves and banana trunk fiber. Lashing was done with braided `uki`uki grass, coconut husk fiber or `ie`ie; no nails were used. Hale typically had a small door opening and no windows.

Ho’oponopono is a cultural practice of reconciliation and forgiveness, usually combined with prayer. Similar forgiveness practices were performed on islands throughout the South Pacific, including Samoa, Tahiti and New Zealand. It is used in spiritual, emotional, mental and physical healing practices. Traditional Hawaiian philosophy does not consider the physical and non-physical aspects of the world to be separate, therefore, to heal one aspect, all must be healed. Conversely, healing one will help to heal the rest.

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast that is usually accompanied by entertainment. It may feature food such as poi, kalua pig, poke, lomi salon, opihi, haupia and beer, and entertainment such as traditional Hawaiian music and hula. Among people from Hawaii, the concepts of “luau” and “party” are often blended, resulting in graduation luau, wedding luau and birthday luau.

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Swedish Design…where it all began

Prior to 1900 Swedish design drew largely on national folklore for their decorative inspiration, especially in Norway, where Viking imagery had great popularity.

Lavvu was a dwelling used by the Sami of northern Scandinavia.  The structure consisted of three or more evenly spaced forked or notched poles that form a tripod.  This structure has been fairly consistent since the 17th century and possibly many centuries earlier.


The traditional lavvu consists of two types of poles three or more forked poles and several straight poles all made from trees.  Reindeer hides were used as a cover until the mid-19th century when large amounts of inexpensive manufactured British textiles were made available to the Sami.

Very large lavvus also existed with enough room for dozens of people. These are typically used for large families.

Inside the living quarters of the lavvu, there is a fireplace in the middle used for heating and to keep mosquitoes away. The smoke escaped through the smoke hole in the top of the lavvu that is usually left open. Occasionally a rough blanket is wrapped round the smoke hole to make the opening smaller, but not to the point where smoke would be prevented from escaping. In order to prevent smoke from building up inside, proper air circulation is maintained by leaving an opening between the ground and the cover, or leaving the door slightly open. Keeping the fire hot enough to let the heated smoke rise through the smoke hole is necessary.


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Scandinavian Vikings:-

Most Vikings lived on farms. The Vikings lived in long rectangular houses called Long houses.  The walls were made with large vertical timbers, and the spaces between the timbers them were filled with wattle and daub or sometimes stone. The roof of the house would be a thatch of straw or reeds.
The house usually had only one room with a cooking fire in the middle. The smoke from the fire escaped through a hole in the roof.
The houses were often close to each other to form a settlement or small village.  This also gave good protection in the event of an attack on the village by enemies.
People and animals lived in the same building. The people lived at one end of the house and the animals lived at the other end in an area called the Byre.



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