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Woman's Bustier

Designed by Issey Miyake, Japanese, born 1938. Made by Issey Miyake, Inc., Tokyo, founded 1971.

Made in Tokyo, Japan, Asia

Designed 1980


Length x Width x Height: 15 x 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 inches (38.1 x 32.4 x 21.6 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Costume and Textiles Revolving Fund, 1992

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Additional information:
  • PublicationJapanese Design: A Survey Since 1950

    This plastic bustier, which brought Issey Miyake's study of the relationship between the body's form and the garment directly back to the body, was a centerpiece of his "Bodyworks" exhibitions shown in museums and galleries in Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London between 1983 and 1985. Molded on a human form, the bustier was made in collaboration with Nanasai, a mannequin manufacturer. Reversing the idea that clothing clads or conceals the body, the bustier replicates the body--or at least part of one--and then exposes it in a second, plastic skin. Miyake showed the bustier with a long pants-skirt, thereby transforming the corsetlike apparel from underwear to daring outerwear; at the same time, the bustier was widely published by itself, like a piece of sculpture, confirming Miyake's philosophy that clothing has an independent form and functionality. Kathyrn B. Hiesinger and Felice Fischer, Japanese Design: A Survey since 1950. Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1994, cat. 139, p. 132.

  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Issey Miyake's plastic bustier, molded on a human form and made in cooperation with a mannequin manufacturer, is a brilliant if unexpected result of the Japanese designer's ongoing exploration of the relationship between clothing and the body. Since his first Paris show in 1973, Miyake has transcended his training in Western couture to redefine the concept of wearing clothes. His designs are neither Eastern nor Western, instead uniting the traditional Japanese emphasis on materials with modern industrial technology to create original body coverings. This bustier reflects Miyake's philosophy that clothing should fuse with the personality of the wearer to become part of the body; while his draped and wrapped fashions acquire their shape when worn, the preformed bustier becomes a new layer of skin. A centerpiece of Miyake's Bodyworks" exhibition shown internationally in 1983-85, this bold red bustier, with its reflective surface and sinuous curves, can also be appreciated as a sculpture with its own form and function. H. Kristina Haugland, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 102.