Season: Spring/Summer 2022
Release Date: Early 2022
Editor's Notes: In certain circles, Japanese designer Takahiro Miyashita is a living legend. Archivists obsess over the adventurousness and extreme quality of his former brand, NUMBER (N)INE, and current project, TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist.
But Miyashita himself takes it all in stride, at least publically. Miyashita is happier to espouse his love for personal passions (especially The Beatles) rather than the fashion biz, despite his fastidious design approach. And thus, "PAUSE≒PLAY," his SS22 collection revealed during Rakuten Tokyo Fashion Week, draws not from typically cool reference points but from, uh, The Blue Man Group.
"When I was reflecting about my past, the performance by Blue Man Group which I saw when I was 19 came to my mind," Miyashita told an interviewer. "I admired them for their coolness as well as playfulness." Hence the appearance of models with painted faces, revealed only when the Soloist-branded paper bags were removed at the end of the show.
But, Blue Man Group references aside, TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. is another display of fabulously intricate garment design. There are transforming three-way trousers, puffy upcycled vests, and plenty of unexpected pockets for the sake of "free[ing] ourselves from bags," Miyashita continued.
"I have repeatedly expressed urgency to further evolve fashion and kept looking forward but for the first time this season I felt the need to pause and reevaluate. ... I pressed “pause” for a moment in order to press “play” again."
The mostly destaturated offering offers more toe shoes — now in leather! — PVC capes, and lacy Victorian collars, another classic Miyashita touchstone. But look beyond the ultra-cropped knit pullovers and dramatically deconstructed tailoring and witness the exceptional attention to detail throughout.
Miyashita affects a laid-back attitude but, behind the scenes, is a master craftsman, obsessing over every minor detail. Like The Blue Man Group, perhaps.