Today I want to talk to you about pleats. And as I can hear some of you are already screaming „booooring“, I want to add straight away that not all pleats are pleats – there are horrible pleats, boring pleats, cute pleats and there are the one and only Issey Miyake pleats, I call them the queens of all pleats.
For those of you who are not familiar with Issey Miyake, here’s a little introduction: Issey Miyake is a Japanese designer. In the 70s he founded a fashion label under his name and since the very beginning he was known for his technology-driven designs. In the 90s Issey stepped back from his designer position and put Naoki Takizawa in charge. Since 2011 and until the present day, Yoshiyuki Miyamae is the head of womenswear at Issey Miyake.
In 1989 Issey Miyake introduced the fashion series ‘pleats’ for the first time and since then it was developed further from season to season. In 1993 it was launched as a stand-alone brand and appeared under the name ‘pleats please Issey Miyake’. The magic about those pleats is that the garments are cut and sewn first and then put in between layers of paper and fed into a heat press. It means that the pleats are made on completed garments, usually you would do it the other way around: first pleat the fabric and then cut and sew the garment.
Back when I was 14 I saw these wonderful designs for the very first time – only on an image of course. Since that moment I really really REALLY wanted to own one of these wonderful pieces. Later when I moved to London, I never missed an opportunity to go to the Issey Miyake shop or to Selfridges and just stare at these wonderful pleats.
The garments themselves are so light, so comfortable and of course so pleated, I am amazed. There are pieces in red, orange, black and green and then there are those wonderful printed designs. You pull the pleats apart and see how the print changes, real magic for eyes. But the last time I went to visit my pleated friends I actually brought one of them home! Finally I am an owner of a „Pleats Please Issey Miyake“ dress! I decided to go for the printed red and cream version that you see in the photos. It was on sale, which was one extra reason for me to buy it. Since I bought it I don’t want to stop wearing it, it fits every occasion and is super easy to style. The only thing you have to careful about it the washing – only wash it cold and don’t spin it in the washing machine. Also do not iron it, as thepleats might get damaged.
In the mood for more pleats? Head over to www.isseymiyake.com.
And here is the look: