Sunday, May 6, 2012

Issey Miyake SymbiosisO: Voxel

Looong ago (way behind as always), on April 4th, we attended an opening reception at tribeca ISSEY MIYAKE co-hosted by Surface Magazine for SymbiosisO: Voxel, an interactive textile installation by technologists and media artists Eszter Ozsvald, Kart Ojavee, and Alex Dodge.

Here is the Miyake website's description of the artwork: "Dyed with thermochromic (heat activated) inks and combined with invisible embedded electronics, the textile installation was designed to change its color and create temporary patterns dependent on two different stimuli: the touch of a human hand that leaves a highlighted, momentary imprint on the fabric, or a mobile, web-based interface that allows spectators to design their own running animations on the textile."

Here you can see how visitors can interact with the art. On the four right-most tiles there is a handprint, and cleverly overlaid on the handprint you can see one side profile and one three-quarter profile.

One of the best parts of going to events (in addition to high-gear people-watching) is being able to reconnect with people we've previously met and catch up on what we've all been up to. We ran into DJ Keiichiro at Fashion's Night Out last year, and at the Miyake 10th Anniversary event in November. His spinning provided the perfect backdrop for the eclectic crowd that Miyake shows attract - a lively nexus of age, style, and ethnicity, which we've tried to capture in our photographs.

Wataru (aka "Bob") topped his casual, minimalist look with colorful headgear. We regularly run into him, camera in hand, when we're out and about (e.g., Fashion's Night Out, Lincoln Center during Fashion Week, Miyake events, sample sales, etc.) Click here to see An Unknown Quantity, Wataru’s view of New York street style.

We loved the fabulous blue footwear that creative director and buyer Zari Awodein paired with his colorful suit.

Robert von Leszczynski (right) handles marketing communications and art projects for Issey Miyake USA. He wore a very interesting jacket. And it's hard to tell here, but he's also wearing a clear plastic bowtie.

Jean stopped to chat with the ever stylish Brandon Acton-Bond.

Here's our friend Ryo Miyamoto behind the counter handing out the irresistible swag bags. Mathematically inclined people, can you name this shape? (We can't.) And it folds flat when empty! We met Ryo last year photographing bloggers at the Independent Fashion Bloggers' conference for his own blog. Click here for a look at his work.

We met this Aussie photographer Joanna Higgins at Miyake's 10th anniversary bash in November. She paired a military-style jacket and belt with a black tulle skirt, patterned tights and black lace-up boots.

Mary Jaeger who lives in and has her textile design studio in the neighborhood stopped in just as we were preparing to leave. Click here for a look at Mary’s website and her gorgeous work.

Valerie and another guest flank photographer Rose Hartman and Tim John.

This Issey employee was showing off a fabulous origami skirt. (Being tall and thin and gorgeous doesn't hurt, does it?)

Store employees show off the clothing to its best advantage.

Even the ladies serving the tiny cream puffs wore colorful Miyake tops. Guests enjoyed customized mini choux by Lady M Confections, White Pike Whiskey cocktails, and music by DJ Keiichiro. The cream puffs were brushed with edible (we hope) pastel metallic silvery glitter.

One of the styles on display.

This showstopper was given its due at the entrance. The boutique was designed by Frank Gehry. Fans will recognize his handiwork in the wavy titanium sheets suspended from the ceiling. Issey hats, alas, are often for show, and not for sale. We both loved this delicate golden yellow number which looked as light as froth.

Although we swear it happened entirely by accident, check out how the alignment in this photo makes it appear that the gentleman on the right is wearing the yellow Miyake hat. What is even more fun is the fact that he can make it "work".Give a shout out to Danny, Andrew and Daniel.

This mannequin wears a dramatic origami shirt. Mannequins in the window helped clear floor space. At times, it was wall-to-wall people, so although we prefer to take head to toe photos, it was often only possible to photograph faces.

But sometimes the faces say it all.

Another mannequin presiding over the festivities. Loved the striped legs.

This mouth-covering hood was somewhat reminiscent of the helmet on old diving suits. It was an unusually warm night for April in New York, and soon this gent had to remove the hood. Too bad we didn't photograph him again. Both looks - with and without - were great. His yellow-framed glasses were also wonderful on him.

You can't tell here, but the seam of this gent's jacket was lined with spikes, not just dots.

This marvelous dress seems to take its inspiration from Congolese kuba cloth.

This lady was a vision in shades of grey. Loved her look.

How cool is this gentleman?

Likewise, how very stylish is this couple?

This gent looked fabulous in his white coat, while his friend looked very sophisticated in her blue dress.

Ever notice how hard it is to find couples who are both wearing great shoes at the same time? We discovered two couples who pulled it off beautifully. Let us know if you agree with our assessment.

For your enjoyment, we share additional photos in a cavalcade of guests.

Perhaps the fact that a whiskey company was one of the sponsors explains why there were more non-fashion industry men than usual in attendance. The gentleman on the right, James Edward Blood, is in the real estate business (Prudential), "specializing in luxury properties".

It's always interesting when the gentleman's hair is longer than the lady's.

We both really liked this fellow's black jacket with white musical notes.

This woman was gorgeous. The photo is overlit (for amateur photogs with tiny digital cameras, the lighting was a nightmare) so you can't see all her photogenic qualities, but the way the light hits her face is fabulous.

These two ladies were enjoying themselves, checking out the music, the fashion and fellow-partygoers.

We end our party photos with this quartet. Hope you enjoyed this little slice of life.

What we're wearing:

Jean: Yohji Yamamoto hat; Kyodon jacket; black Indian cotton harem pants; Aiaka Nishi black & white striped earrings; Pleats Please pleated shoulder bag; customized platform black patent Dansko clogs; vintage bakelite rings; Revue frames.

Valerie is wearing: vintage Hattie Carnegie black fur felt derby with cut out and embroidered figure eights, oblong metal ‘cage’ earrings, Mexican silver, stone and wood necklace in imitation of Joan Miro, sleeveless LBD (little black dress) with adjustable interior ties by Joan Vass, black shoulder pads borrowed from another dress, double layered metal cuff with cutouts, Melissa shoes designed by Gareth Pugh.


  1. Oh how I wish your pictures were larger. For me 500-650 pixels wide is perfect- good resolution but fast download.

    The outfits are striking and gorgeous as ever. xo -Bella Q

    1. Hi, Bella Q. Just click on our photos to enlarge. Once you do, the new upgrade automatically puts the photos into a slide show that you can quickly click through.

  2. I am in love with the delicate golden hat. How sad that the headwear isn't for sale. Your commentary was eloquent as usual, your outfits stunning, and I was 'people watching' with a smile as I read your post.