I was walking in the wrong direction in Soho, New York, when a glint of neon from a shop’s window caught my eye. That wave of electricity was, in fact, a Pleats Please by Issey Miyake dress. It was this same dress that intuitively and ultimately give form to my previous exegesis on Wabi-Sabi and its accompanying imagery of one sheath in three colours, worn in three instinctual variations.
A spark coursed through me, pushing me into the shop to investigate what this green goodness was, despite my current inability to afford it, especially as I immediately realised the similarity between this plissé collection by Miyake and a heavily Japanese-influenced dress by another brand I had just pitched for the same occasion: my birthday.
What I found when I stepped into the shop was duality in a dress: a neon number that was not garish, remarkable in its rigid three-dimesionality and yet somehow still fluid as it oozed on my frame like a bouncing tear-drop. The Drip Bounce tunic it is aptly christened, for obvious reasons: as much a box is as outside the box, it bounces with the gait like a slinky. The dress was a case study, as only Miyake knows how, in how colour binary elevates the visual impact of shape.
Still, I was married to the idea of the dress from the other brand, and holding as fixedly to it as the dress as this dress holds its shape. Nevertheless, I thought I might still use this impetus to see what else Miyake could inspire in a vein similar to my original ideation and began to explore what else Miyake had to offer that might be suited to the shoot I had in mind. The other brand came back to with an emphatic no on collaboration, by which time I was already riding the Miyake Madam T wave to far more glorious heights than I ever could have with the other dress: no T, no shade, no pun intended.
Like the drip bounce dress –which I ended up buying –clinging with a never say die attitude to the shape of my dream, yet being elastic to the whims of the universe in pursuit of that vision and, above all, reacting to intuition in much the way the dress reacts to every step, the team and I achieved a far more sophisticated outcome than I imagine we would have with the other brand’s dress. The vision had a form, but flexibility meant that that form could be twisted, molded and fashioned into much more than the one thing with which I started. One brand said no; I bounced back better.
I am not accustomed to taking no for an answer. It is not in my nature. But time has taught me when to relent, to go with the flow, so to speak, without giving up on the overall prize. A little dress too has taught me this. Sometimes no is the most inspirational word you will ever hear: take solace in the notion that “no” is inviting you to be even more creative; listen intently to intuition, and above all, be elastic in the realization of the ultimate goal.
” Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round
in another form. The child weaned from mother’s milk
now drinks wine and honey mixed”
– Jellaludin Rumi
What I Wore: Issey Miyake Pleats Please “Drip Bounce” tunic; No. 21 “Bow” mule; Céline Audrey sunglasses; Charlton & Lola “Japa” and “Light Wave Diamond” rings; Yves Saint-Laurent “Arty” ring; Hermès bracelet.