This example of Issey Miyake's work exemplifies his approach to clothing, combining a respect for tradition with technological experimentation. A-POC is a clothing innovation by Miyake and his design team at Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo. A-POC derives its name from a concept of Miyake's from the early 70s and is an abbreviation of 'a piece of cloth'. A-POC is a long tube of knitted cloth from which one can cut, without wasting any material, a variety of different clothes to suit the customer's style, taste and requirements.
The A-POC range was launched in Paris at Miyake's show for spring/summer 1999 and promoted as the designer's concept for the next century.It also featured in the exhibition 'Issey Miyake Making Things' originally shown in Paris in 1998 at the Fondation Cartier pour L'art contemporain. In 1999 Miyake was interviewed for The Weekend Australian and explained that '... A-POC goes beyond people's ideas about clothing, beyond couture, beyond the traditional concept of clothing and the process of making clothing...We are trying to find a new kind of clothes. This is our concept for the next century.' ( Interview with Issey Miyake, Design for Living, Tamsin Blanchard, The Weekend Australian, Review, May 29-30, 1999)
Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Issey Miyake belongs to the first generation of Japanese artists, designers and architects who came of age and attained international stature after the Second World War. He is a leading international fashion designer whose garments are often inspired by aspects of Japanese tradition, culture and aesthetics. After graduating with a degree in graphic design in Japan, Miyake was apprenticed to the Parisienne haute couture houses of Guy Larouch and Givenchy in the 1960s. The student riots in Paris at the time influenced his approach to fashion and inspired him to design clothes for 'the people'. Since establishing the Miyake Design Studio in Tokyo in 1970, he has consistently researched materials and technologies. His first Paris collection was shown in 1973 and since 1977 has been exhibited internationally in museums. His approach to clothing combines a respect for tradition with technological experimentation.
The A-POC clothing complements the holdings of Miyake fashion held in the Powerhouse collection, including a pleated lantern dress dated 1995 from Miyake's 'Pleats Please' range, a "Dinosaur" jacket dated 1991 inspired by origami, and an all-in-one jumpsuit dated 1980.
This outfit was one of four garments from Issey Miyake's A-POC range donated by the Sydney retailer Paul Jellard, owner of Five Way Fusion, a fashion boutique in Paddington. It was cut and worn at an event co-hosted by Paul Jellard and the Museum in September 1999 to demonstrate the cutting and wearing of A-POC.
Louise Mitchell, curator, 2001
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