From the Library: PLEATS PLEASE
Following an iconic design born from a single thread.
This month’s feature is an exhaustive study on the limits of a single concept. Born quite literally from a single thread in 1993, PLEATS PLEASE (the brand) has become one of the fashion industry’s most recognizable signatures. Sharing a title with its namesake, PLEATS PLEASE (the book) meticulously chronicles how the brand went from conception, to design, to production and finally through its many innovative campaigns. Having a book trace a single product this way sheds light on the process of creativity at large. Our library is full of books of this sort, as we seek to understand what inspired and motivated the innovators from many fields, not just architecture and interiors.
As it stands now, PLEATS PLEASE is synonymous with its seminal creator, Issey Miyake. He writes, “Among the many clothes that I have created over the last four decades as a clothing designer, PLEATS PLEASE is the one that I really call my own. Of course I have presented at the Paris collections, but PLEATS PLEASE is what I consider my most valuable contribution to ‘design’…A single scarf inspired me. A scarf, folded in four and pleated at an angle, gave birth to a new pleating technique by which many new forms of clothing were possible… At the risk of being misunderstood, I want to emphasize that PLEATS PLEASE are ‘just clothes’, After I began to make them, I finally felt I could embrace the word ‘design’. Neither couture nor fashion, PLEATS PLEASE are ‘simply clothes’. By sending PLEATS PLEASE out into the world, I feel I have finally become a designer."
Given our own namesake, we tend to admire things that are democratic in their attempts to beautify the world. This is what PLEATS PLEASE does so brilliantly. Though clever and intricate in construction, the fabric itself is born of a basic synthetic thread (similar in compound to running gear) that has been manipulated in an ingeneous way. After being woven into a fabric, the pleating process takes place, rendering a material that appears much more sensual and delicate than it is. Utilitarian at its core, any PLEATS PLEASE garment can be scrunched and rolled and thrown without losing form. While the process of production is ultimately best described through the images we show here, we'd like to take a moment to remark on the beauty that is seeing a concept through its many iterations, testing limits, expanding capabilities.