Vintage: Irving Penn regards the work of Issey Miyake
In 1983, Irving Penn was commissioned to photograph Issey Miyake’s clothes for US Vogue. The Japanese designer was so blown away by the resulting images, claiming to suddenly see his designs with fresh eyes, that he approached Penn to photograph his next collection. This marked the beginning of a collaboration that would continue for 13 years. This book is an incredible culmination of this inspiring artistic relationship between two greats.
‘Through his eyes, Penn-san reinterprets the clothes, gives them new breath, and presents them to me from a new vantage point — one that I may not have been aware of, but had been subconsciously trying to capture. Without Penn-san’s guidance, I probably could not have continued to find new themes with which to challenge myself, nor could I have arrived at new solutions.’ – Issey Miyake
The relationship between the two men was characterised by a strong mutual admiration but also a curious distance. Miyake never attended the photo sessions and Penn never went to one of Miyake’s fashion shows. They never even discussed what they were trying to achieve, which is just the way Miyake wanted it. For him, the point of the collaboration was inspiration - and to be surprised.
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