Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara’s A-POC Queen (1997) is a textile generated from a single thread by a computer-programmed industrial knitting machine. The resulting openwork knit tube bears a repeating pattern of woven seams that create a patchwork of shapes whose outlines suggest dresses, shirts, socks, gloves and hats. The customer can cut along the seams without destroying the tubular structure of each individual item, and virtually no material is wasted in the process of creating — without needle or thread — a complete monochromatic outfit from this single swath of cloth.
For Miyake, the A-POC technique is an extension of the technological advances begun during the Industrial Revolution, which ultimately made ready-to-wear clothing possible. While automation has made fashion more accessible in some respects, it has also fostered overconsumption and waste. A-POC, an acronym for “A Piece of Cloth,” is also a play on the word epoch, a call to all to look to the next century with a sense of responsibility. “Will fashion be able to afford to keep the same old methodology?” asks Miyake. “I have endeavored to experiment to make fundamental changes to the system of making clothes.”
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.