For two decades, Issey Miyake's Pleats Please has artfully fused together the worlds of high-tech science and avant-garde Japanese design. In the late 80s, a beautifully creased handkerchief caught Miyake's eye, inspiring a new way of conceptualising the pleat – once thought of as the preserve of Mariano Fortuny's opulent Grecian gowns – by democratising the folds for everyday wear. Miyake tested his hypothesis on William Forsythe's Frankfurt Ballet, officially launching Pleats Please in 1993 after witnessing the freedom of expression and movement the garments afforded each individual dancer.
Equal parts art and alchemy, the lightweight architectural accordion-folds mold naturally to the body; they also scrunch up in a suitcase without losing shape, a feature that's made Miyake's lower-priced line synonymous with wanderlust travellers.
As Pleats Please reaches its 20th year, Dazed took a journey through the collection archives, as seen by Alex Sainsbury and senior fashion editor Robbie Spencer. A book about the line will be published by Taschen, this July.
Text Jacqueline Marcus
CREDITS Photography Alex Sainsbury Styling Robbie Spencer Hair Alex Brownsell at D + V for Bleach London Make-up Georgina Graham at Management + Artists using M.A.C Model Karolina Waz at Elite Photographic assistant Hugo Yanguela Styling assistants Elizabeth Fraser-Bell, Cara Peeney Post-production Studio Private Casting Shelley Durkan