ISSEY MIYAKE A-POC

A new line of jeans introduced by a photograph and a film.

 

Designers Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara asked us to create a photograph that would illustrate their concept of A-POC (A Piece of Cloth) wherein the finished fashion garment is woven into the bolt of cloth. It was to be part of an exhibition by Miyake Design Studio at the Museu de Arte Moderna in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Cary first met Issey Miyake in Paris while Issey was preparing to show his autumn fashion collections at the Louvre. Cary was there working on a project about silk for National Geographic. Issey wasn’t working with silk then but they promised each other that they would find a project that they could work on together. They finally got a chance when Cary was working on Dreamweavers, a story about synthetic fibers also for National Geographic. For that project the model was the spectacular Alvin Ailey dancer, Dwana Smallwood.  Dwana interpreted a colorful A-POC dress through a series of images that were combined into one.

Now we would be working with a new design and we had no idea what to expect. We were surprised when we opened the boxes containing bolts of cloth that Issey sent from Japan.  No color!  The design—gun-metal gray jeans for men—was printed on gray denim. The various pieces-legs, pockets, zippers-were scattered about the surface waiting to be cut out and stitched together. Very different from the colorful Dwana-dress that simply could be snipped from its background and was ready to wear.  

We rolled out the fabric, hung it in the middle of the studio, stared at it for a long time, and began to sketch ideas. We thought we should work with the low-key nature of the design. Instead of cutting the cloth and putting it on a body, we would cut the body and put it in the fabric.

Through a casting call we found Jordan Hunt, a student studying dance in Boston. Jordy was busy with rehearsals and performances so we photographed him in his apartment to see what his arms and legs would look like when poking out of this big bolt of cloth. Some of the positions we wanted turned out to be awkward to hold even for an accomplished dancer.

Although we had detailed sketches, we planned to shoot Jordy in a lot of positions to have good options when it came to assemble the final image. On the day of the shoot, we attached a trapeze bar to the ceiling so Jordy could lift his weight and hang suspended in space while positioning his legs. 

Jun Kanai, representing Issey, came to the studio that day and treated us to wonderful stories about working with Irving Penn to photograph Issey’s designs.  With Jun’s help we roughed out where each piece of the puzzle would fit. The last step was to re-photograph the fabric bolt using a flexible screen to create the shapes where the body would have shaped the fabric. We sent several finished images to Issey and he selected the one you see here.

Issey and Dai loved the photograph and asked if we would animate it for use in the exhibition. Yari brought the still images to life by taking advantage of the many pictures we made to build the composite photograph.

ISSEY MIYAKE A-POC GALAXY

For the Sao Paulo exhibition, Issey’s design team made the same photograph into a three-dimensional cube.

 

Client: Miyake Design Studio
Photography: Cary Wolinsky
Art Director: Babs Wolinsky
Designer: Jen Christiansen
Animation: Yari Wolinsky
Music Composer: Spencer Putnam
Production Assistant: Matt Teuten