ISSEY MIYAKE, Tokyo (fashion house)<br />
 Issey MIYAKE (designer)<br/>
<em>Bustier</em> 1980-1981 {autumn-winter 1980–81} <!-- (front view) --><br />

metal, opaque synthetic polymer resin, polyester<br />
39.0 x 18.0 x 34.0 cm<br />
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br />
Purchased, 1996<br />
1996.102<br />
© Miyake Design Studio

Art as Therapy – I can’t be sexy

ISSEY MIYAKE, Tokyo (fashion house)
 Issey MIYAKE (designer)

Philosophers Alain de Botton and John Armstrong of The School of Life have created the Art as Therapy Tour at the NGV. The self-guided tour of selected works from the NGV Collection includes special captions that challenge our assumptions about ourselves, society and how we view art in galleries. Here, they look at Issey Miyake’s Bustier 1980-1981 as a cure for those who feel they can’t be sexy. 

I can’t be sexy

Being thought sexy by others and feeling sexy oneself are amongst the most coveted and most enjoyable of all experiences. These feelings, however, can be elusive, especially for thoughtful, serious people. It can feel as if they will never come one’s way; that they are only for other people.

Although this bustier is hanging on the wall of an art gallery it is actually designed to be worn. And that means it can also be put aside. It proposes an identity to be tried on, without having to commit the whole of who you are.

The work doesn’t say anything about the rest of what may be going on in a person’s life: they might be holding down a highly responsible job, caring for a family, going to church, worrying about their debts or studying for a degree in archaeology. All of which are compatible with sometimes wanting (or needing) to see oneself as a sex-goddess.

This work is located on Level 3 at NGV International. Art as Therapy works are identified on the map available for download in pdf format and online from the mobile site by choosing a topic and selecting a proposition to consider.

The NGV Publication Art a Therapy is available from the NGV Shop and online.