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2001/106/2 Outfit, 'A-POC Alien', womens, comprisng outfit, instructions, packaging and accessories, various materials, by Issey Miyake Inc, Tokyo, Japan, 1999. Click to enlarge.

'A-POC Alien' outfit by Issey Miyake

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

Issey Miyake Making Things, Foundation Cartier pour l'art contemporain and Scalo, Zurich, Berlin, New York, 1998
Koren, Leonard, New Fashion Japan, Tokyo and New York 1984.
Sparke, Penny, Japanese Design, London 1987
Calloway, Nicholas, editor, Issey Miyake: Photographs by Irving Penn, Boston 1988
Miyake Design Studio, editors, Ten Sen Men, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo 1990.
Miyake Design Studio, editors, Issey Miyake by Irving Penn 1991-1992, Tokyo 1992
Miyake Design Studio, editors, Issey Miyake by Irving Penn 1993-1995, Tokyo 1995
Mitchell, Louise, 'Issey Miyake' in Tokyo Vogue, Griffin University, Queensland College of Art, 1999


Object No.


Object Statement

Outfit, 'A-POC Alien', womens, comprisng outfit, instructions, packaging and accessories, various materials, by Issey Miyake Inc, Tokyo, Japan, 1999

Physical Description

Ensemble, instructions and packaging, A-POC, women's outfit including top, skirt, bra, underpants, socks, gloves, hat and bag, cotton / nylon / polyurethane, Issey Miyake Inc, Tokyo, Japan, 1999

Consists of a women's turquoise blue ensemble including a hat, long sleeved top, knee length skirt, bag, socks, gloves and underwear, all made from a stretch double knit fabric of 55% cotton, 42% nylon and 3% polyurethane. The garments are unsewn and unlined.

The top is a long-sleeved, tight-fitting piece with self patterned hounds-tooth design on the sleeves. It has a V-neck and short fringing at the neck, cuffs and hem.
The skirt is a tight-fitting, knee length skirt with self-patterned geometric designs at the knee and hips. There are two slit pockets at hip level and a short fringe at the waistband and hem.

The bra is a cropped top with a round neck at the front and V-neck at the back with a self-patterned geometric design at the centre front and along the back. There is short fringing around the neck and armholes.

The underpants are hipster style with a self-patterned diamond design at left and right front and on the back. There is a short fringe around the leg holes.

The socks are a pair of long socks with hounds-tooth design and cut-outs at the knees. They also have a short fringing at the cuffs and feet.

The gloves are a pair of short gloves with fishnet on the hands and fingers and short fringing at cuffs. The hat is close fitting with a self-patterned diamonds and stripes design and fringe at the hem.

The bag is a tote with two handles and ties at the top. There are self patterned diamonds on each side and short fringing along the bottom and around the opening.

The ensemble also comes with colour printed instructions in English and Japanese for cutting and wearing the A-POC garments on a long narrow rectangle of white paper. The ensemble is packaged in a brown cardboard tube with two silver metal lids.



A-POC was created by Issey Miyake and the Miyake Design Studio. Research was carried out by Miyake, Dai Fujiwara and Makiko Minagawa amongst others. This ensemble was made in Tokyo at the Miyake Design Studio. It was launched at the Miyake Spring-Summer 1999 show in Paris.

Miyake credits Fujiwara Toshio, a textile designer who has been with the Miyake Design Studio for 6 years, with much of the development of A-POC.(see Design for Living' The Weekend Australian, May 29-30, 1999). A-POC is produced using computer software linked to a basic knitting machine normally used for making hosiery.



The outfit was cut and worn at a function held in the Coles Theatre of the Powerhouse Museum on Wednesday 22 September 1999. The function was co-hosted by the Museum and Five Way Fusion, a fashion boutique in Paddington. The curator Louise Mitchell approached the owner of Five Way Fusion, Paul Jellard after an article appeared in The Weekend Australian (May 29-30 1999) about A-POC. Paul Jellard proposed donating A-POC clothing and presenting a demonstration on the cutting and wearing of A-POC based on the Miyake Spring-Summer 1999 show at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.

The outfit was requested for the Museum by Paul Jellard. It was presented to the Museum at the A-POC function in September 1999.


Credit Line

Gift of Paul Jellard, 2001

Acquisition Date

29 October 2001

Cite this Object


'A-POC Alien' outfit by Issey Miyake 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 April 2021, <https://ma.as/9704>


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