Pleats: Fold the front page
Pleats are back and sharper than ever
In a fashion world that is increasingly androgynous, it's nice to be able to play up your girlie side. The designer catwalks unleashed a glorious array of very modern, pleated creations this season that the high street eagerly interpreted. From circular skirts featuring sun-ray pleating in sheer chiffons to more structured knife pleats, we were smitten. Maxis took on a whole new ethereal feel when fabricated with pleats.
My absolute favourite is the more Italianate Fortuny pleating that stretches out playfully like an accordion and then springs back into shape with precision.
The crisp pleats were set in silk fabrics by Mariano Fortuny, using a secret pleat-setting process. If you are fortunate enough to be in Venice this summer, the shops in back lanes leading to the Piazza San Marco are groaning stylishly with a selection of Fortuny pleated scarves and wraps.
Pleats are gloriously versatile and can be worn any number of ways. Halston Heritage made a strong statement with a girlie pleated, short, blue dress which Sarah Jessica Parker wore in the 'SATC 2' movie a year ago. In the shops now, look out for two great wide-legged palazzo trousers at New Look. Plain white or polka-dot blue, they are divine.
Oasis has explored pleats in various fabrics including jersey, but my favourite is the leather pleated mini-skirt, a brilliant look accessoried with contrasting heritage knit, dark tights and patent heels.
Japanese designer Issey Miyake is a genius with modern-day pleating and if you like his architectural approach, be sure to explore his Pleats Please range. In London, it is stocked at Fenwicks, Liberty and Harrods. Another one for your Little Black Book is his shop at Brook Street, off Mayfair.
Ladies who travel a lot and want instant gratification and drama from their suitcase will not be disappointed. Enjoy!