In store at REALITY LAB. ISSEY MIYAKE, which just opened on Nov 11 from ISSEY MIYAKE INC., are exclusive items made from washi paper made in the Tohoku region.

The paper wears were created under Issey Miyake’s enduring quest for true “social clothes” and “Japanese craftsmanship: not limited to techniques but in total as culture.” The special edition items feature Shiroishi Washi, the traditional paper made in Shiroishi City, Miyagi Prefecture. Also the inspiration behind the ISSEY MIYAKE MEN 2013 SS collection, the washi material is strengthened by entwining the paper fibers crosswise, then rubbing the papers by hand, and further compressing it with konnyaku potato glue. The handwork long cultivated throughout the years gives the products warmth and special textures. Recycled polyester used in 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE items are applied for button holes, under the arms, cuffs, neckbands, front inner linings, and such parts that require further durability.

The lineup consists of pieces from 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE (210,000 yen) and 2013 SS collection items from ISSEY MIYAKE MEN (210,000 yen), blousons, coats, jackets, and two types of pants made with washi bonding textiles (52,500 yen - 136,500 yen), three styles of coats, pullovers, and two types of pants of washi canvas textiles (39,900 yen - 157,500 yen).

Issey Miyake has been developing unique original materials by working respectfully with Japanese traditions and handworks. In 1982, Miyake presented washi kamiko (paper wear)- the traditional, heat-retaining farmer’s wear that is also worn by the Nara Todaiji Temple monks during the Omizutori (water-drawing) rite. For the ISSEY MIYAKE MEN 2013 SS collection, washi that has long been used as daily wear in the Tohoku region took on a modern face as it was interpreted as “lifestyle with bicycles.” Washable washi bonding textile was made possible by bonding washi with rayon and then laminating the surface for the finishing touch. More in the family are washi canvas- made by twisting narrow strips of washi into canvas cloth, washi raschel- a combination of washi and nylon, and low gauge knit wears using super thick washi threads.