Pleats are a clothing detail i have always been exceptionally fond of. A pleated skirt can have such great movement, and the vertical shadow lines are no less than flattering, but it's not something used very often in menswear, or at least not to the same effect as in womenswear. I mean, pleated trousers give a little more volume and room for movement in the leg, but it's nothing like the swish swish of a pleated skirt. Comme Des Garcons lovingly pushed the boundaries forward enough to suggest men layering kilts (a look which i spotted a few people wearing around Tokyo earlier this year), which really should not seem as outrageous as it does, considering kilts are a traditional menswear item.
Traditional Japanese menswear also sees men down extremely wide legged super pleated trousers that look almost like a floor length pleated skirt that flairs out from the waist, again, something that made me gasp in amazement when i saw someone in it walking down the street in Tokyo.
Gareth Pugh's last womensear collection presented a similar pleated bottom that was only done justice in the video presentation.
So i guess what i'm hoping for is a future with more pleats.
Pleats for all.
Then i remembered to last semester at uni when i got terribly obsessed with the notion of fabric walls and the permeabiltiy of divides and what constitutes divisor of space, a concept that, i feel, is most elegantly handles by the Japanese, with a tradition of understanding the more subtle qualities of light, and respecting shadow, it's not really very surprising. Architects like SANAA constantly comment on how they are toying with the notion of a divide and how thin/transparent/non existent it can be before no divide is apparent, while others, like Toyo Ito explore the "fluidity of space" to similar effect.
Curtains, as in walls of fabric, are not very often used as architectural features as more advanced systems have been but in place since the old heavy curtains that created insulating pockets of air between the windows of old English manors and their toasty, fireplace heated interiors, or the colourful divides of modernist residences like Rose Seidler house. There are however some stunning examples curtains enhancing and defining the spaces they encompass, providing an ephemeral environment in which the light is diffuse, the walls are fluid, outside sound is muted and only shadows pass through undisturbed.
It is my dream to have a large white room with a dark, heavy wooden table with 6 chairs, sturdy and rectangular, situated in its centre encompassed on all sides by a white translucent curtain onto which 4 movies are projected through out the night, while those present munch and chat until the date changes, and ambient haunting tunes fill the air inside the ghostly barrier.
Here are some images of pleats and curtains, which are really just the big pleated skirts of space, that i hope you will enjoy.