The day I read the Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake (April 1938 through August 5, 2022) passed away following his battle with liver cancer,at 84, I experienced such a sharp pain in my heart I cried out “Oh no!” and felt faint.
As a survivor of cancer myself I’m intimately acquainted with the toll that disease extracts and as a fashion journalist, who’s life was changed when I saw a televised Issey Miyake fashion show danced/modeled by “Pilobilus” a modern dance troupe I realized the creative loss as well.
I was attending Cal State LA as a Fashion merchandising major then, and although my personal style was more vintage 1960s and 1970s than Japanese avant-garde, I was still attracted to artistic designs that had a backstory. Miyake’s had that and more.
Equally driven by nature, technology art and modern culture, while I’ve yet to buy the Vintage Miyake pieces on my wish list on therealreal.com I believe the indomitable spirit he imbued his clothes with will continue to inspire me even if I just examine them online and dream.
As a fashion journalist, and all-around clotheshorse, it’s impossible for me to look at the people I work around and not reimagine them in another version of what they might be wearing if I wore their garments myself. After all inspiration can come from anywhere, and even if I don’t care for the look,
I try not to let it limit my imagination. Currently, I’m working at a school that requires unisex uniforms for the students-a school shirt and dark pants. So far I’ve seen it worn with a hoodie, jeans etc. in the way it’s meant to be worn, which doesn’t make it very exciting.
If I had to wear it, and wanted to express my individuality, I’d take a trip to the thrift store, buy a pair of wide-leg men’s Levi’s, black dress pants and Dickies then pair it with lace up oxfords, or loafers argyle socks and a cardigan sweater or blazer.
To further accessorize, I’d either wear a beret or bucket hat if I were a girl and a baseball or newsboy peaked cap if I were a boy.
I don’t know if this observation will ever change my mind about uniforms but this daily exposure does help me see how they can still be part of the fashion game if tweaked in the right way.