The Enduring Influence of Issey Miyake
PARIS — Issey Miyake offers proof that a great designer can continue to bathe his brand in his spirit. The collection sent out by Yoshiyuki Miyamae was a youthful and lively rendition of everything that Mr. Miyake has always believed in — notably, invention, transformation and sporty clothes for an energetic life.
As the models walked in to the sounds of a Japanese spring guitar on stage, the audience should have guessed that the flat, circular bags they carried would unfurl into dresses using the famous Miyake pleating techniques.
They were followed by more outfits with a three-dimensional effect of stained glass squares standing away from the body. But the designer was also smart enough to produce simple pieces that might be just a colorful shawl cocooning the shoulders.
The balance of this collection, inspired by the rhythmic pulse of life in the forest, was perfectly aligned with the clothing and brought the young designer a cascade of cheers.
Rick Owens made a smart step out of cult status and toward his personal fashion family. Instead of the extraordinary step dancing of last season, the designer kept to the concept that women of all body types could wear his clothes and, indeed, swap them with each other.
So out came favorite models from the past and people from his work studio, proving that there can be a modern elegance in loosely cut clothes in chic colors like wine red, or a stomping energy in deliberately awkward proportions and techno-looking leg wear with knee protectors.
From black and gray, Mr. Owens added dresses in gleaming fabrics, perhaps with the flourish of a big bow at the neck. It proved that climbing down from his fashion pedestal was a good move.
At Nina Ricci, the designer Peter Copping said it with flowers near the end of his collection. After a long wait, the show focused on the romantic womanliness that is his specialty. His orchids, traced on graceful long dresses with a hint of sensuality, have been a trademark of the house. Lace dresses had a similar evening glamour.
But what else was there to associate the Nina Ricci name with but polite, wearable tailoring in shades of cloud gray?
Mr. Copping is a romantic and maybe he should push that feeling forward, for the autumn collection, pretty though it was, seemed not much more than a useful wardrobe — plus those appealing flowers.
Roland Mouret’s geometry changes subtly each season but, like a compass with the pin fixed firmly in place, the designer does not move far from his position.
“I have reached the exact point in my life where I am doing what I feel passionate about, rather than what I feel is expected of me,” he wrote in his program notes.
So there was a grid, drawn finely around the body, framing it with window-pane squares. The clothing was always slim, sometimes zippered and occasionally with coloring splashes for painterly effects.
With a collar high around the neck and inserts of leather, Mr. Mouret drew his own fashion map, and sometimes it is wiser to follow that than to reach out into unknown territory.
“It’s a wardrobe about construction, texture and color,” said Hussein Chalayan backstage to explain the apparent simplicity of a collection of pieces where the models were free to stride. That was because a slit skirt encouraged movement, whether it was something as simple as a big, heavy textured sweater over a wispier skirt or one of the evening gowns, light, elegant and splattered with color.
Although the designer still talked a convoluted tale of moon and sky, his clothes for this Chalayan collection have become increasingly simple, with just the right dose of imagination and reality.