Pleats Please Pride

It was a pleasant surprise to turn the pages of Dazed & Confused June issue to find an editorial dedicated to Issey Miyake's Pleats Please due to its twentieth anniversary.  Surprised because I rarely see it used in mainstream fashion editorials and pleasant because in recent years, I've developed a bit of a Pleats Please accumulation obsession.  Out of Issey Miyake's empire of fabric innovations of which there are many, Pleats Please for me has a versatility that makes every piece useful as well as distinctive in its appearance.  The brand is almost taken for granted for its innovation, which is that Issey Miyake takes 100% polyester fabric and cut and sews pieces when they are three times larger than the end result and then puts them through a heat press to give them that permanently pleated finished state.  They're rendered entirely machine washable, entirely scrunchable and requires zero ironing.  On a less mumsy note, the architectural properties of Pleats Please is remarkable and I'm only reminded of this fact every time I wear a piece, because as I move it miraculously falls into its proper position automatically.  It's like a metal slinky but in fabric form.  

For the obvious reason that all Pleats Please pieces are completely elasticated and have naturally stretchy properties due to its tightly partitioned pleats, Pleats Please can so often fall into that very specific "I'm a chic gallerist or art school teacher, who makes pots and grows herbs in my spare time" style niche.  Not that there's anything wrong with chic gallerists and art school teachers, who makes pots and grows herbs.  In fact, life would be pretty sweet if I had spare time to work the kiln and trim tarragon.  What I mean is that when you overdose on Pleats Please head to toe, it can result in a look that ages you about two decades, which is fine if you want to look that way but seems to deter a younger audience from getting into Pleats Please.  Precisely why whenever I say Pleats Please to friends, they furrow their brows and say "I've only ever seen elderly Japanese ladies going in there‚Ķ"


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Dazed & Confused June 2012: Photography Alex Sainsbury, Styling Robbie Spencer

All the better for me to take the opportunity to raid Pleats Please whenever I go to Tokyo and do our ritual of a trip to Gotemba Premium Outlets.  It's a dull trek but the money saving fanatic inside of me is willing to sacrifice a precious day to do this discount detour.  The Japanese brands such as Tsumori Chisato, Y's and Issey Miyake are especially worth going to (Balencaiga, YSL and Prada etc however are a little bit patchy and pricy in case you're wondering).  On a recent trip to the Pleats Please outlet, I picked up a pair of trousers featuring a muted plaid/stripe design, which reminds me of the sort of sludgy ceramic patterns seen in Rochas'  A/W 12-3 collection.  Pleats Please fabric is a foundation for pretty much anything the design team wishes to bung on it and over the years, we've seen anything from Lichtenstein pop-art prints to Renaissance paintings to mock denim.  I find you get slightly more mileage out of the plainer pieces, which are really useful layering devices but it's always interesting to see what pattern and print stories they have come up with as seen in pieces used in the Dazed editorial.  

Pleats Please rummaging on eBay and on Yoox is your best bet if you can't get to a physical store and fortunately sizing isn't an issue with this magically expanding and shrinking fabric.  I only wished Pleats Please would develop a proper e-commerce site, with a fully diverse choice of  product, which I think would widen its customer base beyond the aforementioned Pleats Please afficionados and lone fabric freaks like myself. 






(Issey Miyake Pleats Please trousers worn with Fancy Shit paisley jacket, Christopher Kane floral print dress, Simona Vanth shoes)






(Issey Miyake Pleats Please top and skirt worn with Toga patent jacket, Christopher Kane sticker skirt, Nicholas Kirkwood shoes)

58 Replies to “Pleats Please Pride”

  1. YES, I’ve always wanted a piece of Pleats Please, specifically because it does age you a good 10 years. I’m a grown-ass woman and I want to feel and look that way, none of this creepers and jean shorts malarky.

  2. It’s the tightness of the pleat and the specific polyester fabric that Issey Miyake uses…. it’s hard to explain really but you can spot a Pleats Please piece a mile away. I’ve seen imitation pleated fabrics but the angle and lines of the pleat is never really the same. You can really tell it’s Pleats Please when you scrunch the pieces up in your hand and then watch it spring back into its original form.

  3. I think this is an amazing idea! I love the red dress, and the green one is very fancy too ^^ I wouldn’t mind looking like a chic gallerist… if I could go to Japan to buy myself one of those, of course >_<

  4. I adore my pleats please piece and actually came across some electric blue fabric pleated the exact same way and made an amazing top out of it.
    By the way…your blazer is by a label called ‘Fancy Shit’ ?! I love it (blazer and name)! X

  5. Absolutely agree with Susie. And also, the colours of Issey Miyaké Pleats Please have more definition, pleats are equal unlike other knock-off or copied products, you can notice the uneven pleats. In a blouse, you have special tiny pleats that work like darts in a cut and sewn piece. I have a dress with diagonal pleats that I have never seen others doing it, they just make straight pleats. However diagonal pleats keep its shape less than straight ones so be careful not to sit too long on your dress. I also have a top that I have been wearing for 4 years, pleats become more relaxed but colours stay the same. Amazing!!!!!

  6. When I first saw the Pleats Please film documenting how Issey Miyake used architectural inspirations to lead him in developing the first collection.. everything in it blew me away!! Especially how he had all dancers on the runway jumping and demonstrating how much movement was carried through the garment. Made me think of potential performance art pieces incorporating textile education and innovations! Thanks for posting this newer images of Pleats Please!

  7. I’m loving your outfit posts lately. Everything here is beautiful. I saw a neon yellow pleated maxi at a thrift store a couple weeks ago. It was way to big, but this post makes me with I had snagged it.

  8. Woah! I’m really loving the stuff of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between user friendliness and visual appearance. I must say you have done a amazing job with this. Excellent Blog!

  9. I love this post! Just bought a pair of pleats please pants – it is a piece of art. Dying to visit the outlet stores in Japan. Please write up more tips for shopping in Japan and vintage shops that only locals know. Thank you! X

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