What is Pleats Please?
This week we’ve welcomed Issey Miyake’s iconic ‘Pleats Please’ clothing to Sydney CBD for the first time. Found at only a handful of stores around the world and made using a production process that is known to only a lucky few, these garments are imbued with a sense of mystery.
So, what exactly is Pleats Please?
Pleats Please is the closest you’ll ever come to wearing an idea. Hailed as the grandfather of modern design, Issey Miyake has been experimenting with synthetic materials and production techniques since the 1980’s. Miyake’s mission to challenge preconceived design ideas by using traditional artisans’ techniques as well as new technology has resulted in some of the world’s most extraordinary creations – and Pleats Please is perhaps his most famous.
Miyake has explained that his ambition is to ‘make things that bring joy, excitement… and comfort to people’s everyday lives’, but he’s also a pragmatist: he understands that low-maintenance clothes are the best clothes. This perhaps why the production of Pleats Please clothing has escalated so dramatically ever since the first collection was released in 1989.
Made from lightweight polyester, Pleats Please is a line of clothing consisting of finely pleated, sculptural garments that are ageless, genderless, wrinkle-proof, and machine-washable. They can be rolled up into compact, travel-friendly tubes that miraculously unwrap to be as fresh and springy as when they went into the suitcase. But the best part about these clothes is their movement: the pleats are so tight that the garments bounce and spring around the wearer’s limbs as they move – or sashay, as is inevitably the case.
While the exact production techniques are a closely guarded secret, we do know that each Pleats Please garment is created from start to finish at the Pleats Please studio in Japan, and is developed from a single thread. Pleats are added to the fabric after the clothes have taken shape via a secret heat-pressing technique – a revolutionary departure from the traditional pleating process.
Every season Miyake releases a collection based around a new theme, and this summer it’s all about nature and childhood. There are joyful, sunny yellow tops, crossgrain skirts with pleating inspired by tree rings, and emerald green pants that bounce around the calf, designed to make you giggle like you did when you were knee-height.
These are inventions that need to be touched, tried and worn to be fully understood. The SS19 Pleats Please collection has launched this week at our Westfield Sydney pop up, with the full range available now in our Martin Place store and online here.
See what 30 years of production experimentation feels like for yourself.