Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please collection was my first introduction to designer fashion. I was in my early teens and just discovering the joys of shopping for my own clothes (using saved up allowance) when I saw a mannequin at the now-defunct Sari-Sari shop in Greenbelt wearing a bright red suit jacket with matching pants in the most obscure fabric I’ve ever seen. I went in for a closer look and touched the ultra light, ultra smooth fabric with the tiniest pleats ever made and promptly, fell deep in love. Who is this genius person who invented this, was my thought bubble. My young self, who was just starting to collect American Vogue, would later realize just how special and unique Japanese design innovation really is, and that Issey is only one of many who embody these qualities that actually extend beyond fashion. When I finally got to visit Japan years later, I got it. Seems like everything they touch turns into a better version of the original, may it be food, art or architecture, and I fell even deeper in love.
When I got to college, My signature scent was L’Eau D’ Issey. To this day, I still wear it on the rare times I go out or even when I just want to feel more dressed up. The deep, musky scent never fails to bring me back to my carefree days of going bar hopping and dancing in Mars (the club). It’s the last thing I put on before heading out the door in anticipation of the evening to come with my girlfriends; never fails to get compliments, might have even bought me a free drink or two.
Now that I’m older, I appreciate the craftsmanship of Pleats Please beyond the aesthetics. It’s the fail-safe outfit to take travelling as it doesn’t crumple, even if you pack it in a ball; it’s chic and stylish without trying too hard; it’s easy to match with other fabrics like knit, cotton and linen (even looks good as contrast); it hides what you don’t want to show but can be cinched to highlight what you want; it’s timeless and a piece you’ll keep forever.
The pieces come with a hefty price tag, but it’s an investment that won’t go to waste and can keep as an heirloom piece for your little ones. Someday, hopefully sooner than later, I’ll start collecting mine.
All images from the World Wide Web