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Pleats and Thank You

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Pleats from Bottega Veneta, Delpozo, and Dries van Noten

Pleating, in various iterations, unfurled as a keynote trend this season. Alexander Wang, for example, offered boxy swatches on miniskirts in New York. Also crimped in Manhattan: Victoria Beckham‘s peekaboo accordion creases. And, in Paris, Phoebe Philo caused a stir with loads of narrow corrugations at Céline. Yet where these designers skewed toward traditional folding, a trio of labels proposed a fancier twist on the technique for Spring ’14 via intricate pleats that mimicked ruffles.

At Delpozo, creative director Josep Font’s barley-yellow trousers, which boasted an arc of frilled pin-tucks, were a standout in his soft, painterly collection. In Paris, Dries Van Noten opened his show with a quiet white frock, the seams of which were embellished with whorls of gilded fabric. Bottega Veneta’s Tomas Maier, too, employed creased ruffles in his Spring ’14 lineup. One dress in particular—a gray-green number vertically veined in bow-like folds—was particularly striking. “I wanted to add texture and dimension in an unusual way,” Maier told Style.com. “The monochrome color, combined with the movement of the pleats, creates this effect.” To construct the garment, Maier and his team blended cotton with a vegetable fiber called ramie, which possesses malleable characteristics akin to copper. The result was a tactile sartorial sculpture.

Photos: IndigitalImages.com

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