WALL London’s new spring 2014 collection incorporates traditional Japanese pleating techniques in various ways - transforming two-dimensional material into a sculptural form.
Drawing inspiration from the East, the techniques involve twisting, tying, crumpling, stitching or folding fabric- much like Issey Miyake's innovative pleated clothing.
Issey Miyake launched ‘Pleats Please Issey Miyake’ as a stand alone brand in 1993. “Made from single pieces of high quality 100% polyester fabric, the innovation behind Pleats Please is that the clothes are first cut and sewn together two-and-a-half to three times larger than the finished garments,” explains the Victoria and Albert museum, who featured Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collection as part of their ‘Fashion in Motion’ exhibition. “Individual pieces are hand-fed into a heat press sandwiched between two sheets of paper. The garment then emerges with permanent pleats. This industrial process allows both texture and form to be created at the same time. Vertical, horizontal and zig-zag pleating is used to create varying effects and architectural shapes.” The idea of using a singular piece of cloth is much like the kimono. This pleating technique is slow – it takes time. There is a great diversity of techniques which have been developed and the knowledge required to execute them is huge, and considering how hard it is to find an exact era of origin – has been around forever!
WALL London has followed suit by showing off our origami skills. We have created designs out of light, flexible and permanently pleated fabric like our Accordion Pleated Shirt – a semi-sheer day-to-night outfit solution.
Japanese pleated “clothes are very functional and practical; the garments store easily, travel well, require no ironing and can be machine-washed and dried within minutes. Shapes are simple, colours diverse,” adds the V&A.
Such as our Japanese Pleated Dress - a dress with a difference. Gentle Japanese pleats create an amazingly soft architecture around the body. Draped from the shoulders for a flattering look. This touch of the orient makes this otherwise simple dress a stand out piece. And our stunningly simple Crushed Coat Dress is perfect for on-the-go occasionwear. Throw it into your bag and pop it on when you arrive - the more creases the better!
WALL London Design Director, Judith Balcazar, adds: “These pleated pieces are stunning, pushing both the tradition and evolution of design. They are wardrobe pieces that stay in fashion, pack like a dream (you could put an entire wardrobe of them in a handbag!) and last forever. I love them!”
Pleats are a huge trend once more for Spring/Summer 2014, with Proenza Schouler, Chanel and Missoni (to name but a few) all going into the fold. Partner pleats with classic accessories, such as unfussy slim leg trousers and elegant heels, for a balanced look.
How do you wear pleats? Tell us below.