Both Costume National and Issey Miyake pushed envelopes at Paris Fashion Week: one stylistically, the other technologically.
Costume National’s New Wave, No Wave, Dark Wave collection for autumn–winter 2012–13 was explained in Ennio Capasa’s show notes: ‘My women have a metropolitan and post-punk attitude, they combine androgynous and feminine silhouettes.’ Post-punk seems as appropriate a description as any, as Capasa’s clothes had a dark sense to them, suited to the world of Tim Burton. Capasa himself said that he went away from abstraction and attempted to create a new æsthetic with this latest collection, and he achieved his aim: wool, patent leather, fur, sleeveless dresses complemented with long gloves, and a strip of horizontal tape preserving the wearer’s modesty by covering her nipples.
Issey Miyake pushed the innovation route, with a new steam stretch fabric. Before the models came on, assistants brought irons on to the catwalk, steaming the hanging dresses into shape. The models then appeared, wearing the dresses in a collection entitled Mineral Miracle. The designer employed geometry, texture, bright colours and graphic prints for autumn 2012, with layered tops and skirts, coats with softened lines (a contrast to what we had been seeing in Milano and earlier in Paris) and equally soft-looking steam-stretch dresses.