This striking garment by famed avant-garde designer Issey Miyake is a play on the 19th century tailcoat, updated for our modern times and changing world. The re-imagined garment evokes how much the world of fashion has changed since the age of men in black tailcoats and women in ankle-length dresses. Made in a dyed knit with a mottled pattern, the new fabric speaks to current visions of the post-apocayptic future, or perhaps a re-imagined past. The use of the tailcoat base for a woman's garment highlights the shift in gender roles and politics since the age of Victorian design, and the new horizons for women both in fashion and in the world at large. From a technical standpoint, this garment shows Miyake's vision and expertise, with masterful design details and workmanship. The soft patterns in the dye are echoed by the drape in the knit, which is in turn highlighted by the waterfall-folds of the tails in back. The tails, rather than being separate from each other as in tradition, are connected with a twist at the bottom and folded up to the waist before falling back down in a curve over the seat and then up into the waist seam. At the front they curve away over the hips in an elegant line from the point at the waist. There are many ways to wear the tails, including fully down, looped up, or even as a wrap or hood. The simple jewel-necked top and straight sleeves allow the pattern in the cloth and the shape of the tails to take center stage, while the greyscale dyes keep the effect from becoming costumey. From the references of a 19th century tailcoat and a post-apocalyptic sweater, Miyake has created a wonderful and wearable garment with impressive design and a lot to say.
Designer: ISSEY MIYAKE.