pleats please!

Image / Yasuaki Yoshinaga

Innovative Japanese designer Issey Miyake’s name is synonymous with the groundbreaking PLEATS PLEASE collection he launched in 1993. Now, nearly twenty years on, a beautifully illustrated book by Taschen explores his creation and reveals for the first time the process behind the pleating.

PLEATS PLEASE garments are made from single pieces of high quality polyester nearly three times larger than the finished garment, which are then sandwiched between sheets of paper and hand fed into a pleats machine after the fabric has been cut and sewn. The result is permanently pleated clothing that is practical as well as strikingly architectural: machine-washable, quick drying and requiring no ironing, making it perfect for travelling.

Design writer Yasuko Seki describes the garments as ‘smart clothes’, perfectly suited to modern lifestyles, because they are “light, compact when folded, maintenance-free, perfect for the demands of any business or party scene, and infinitely adaptable to any dresser’s fashion sense.”

The book explores, through 400 stunning images and previously unpublished articles, the evolution of the PLEATS PLEASE clothing line from the creation of the original thread through to its public reception. It is edited by Miyake Design Studio president Midori Kitamura, who has worked with Miyake since 1976.

Image / Taschen

Miyake himself has of course been designing collections since he founded the Miyake Design studio in Tokyo in 1970, but it was his experimentation with new methods of pleating in the late 1980s that made the biggest impact. As trend forecaster Li Edelkoort puts it, “Issey is the alchemist of fashion and PLEATS PLEASE is his gold.”

Image / Tetsuo Yuasa

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