Pleating is one of the most basic fabric treatments as it serves to create three-dimensional clothing out of two-dimensional cloth. Folds and draping occur naturally when cloth is wrapped around the body. As tailored clothing developed in the West, these folds were stitched down, creating pleats. Pleats can also be produced through heat treatment of fabric to form intentional, lasting creases.
Box, inverted, kick, knife, sunburst, accordion, cartridge, tuck…
This exhibition highlights many of the countless variations of pleating. The pieces on exhibit span more than two hundred years of fashion history and are organized by type of pleat and technique rather than chronologically or geographically. Masterpieces by Mariano Fortuny, Mme. Grès, Issey Miyake, and Christian Dior are exhibited alongside folk costumes and intricate 18th- and 19th-century gowns.