Get pleat perfect in Origami-inspired fashion. By Mughni Che Din
Origami is an art culture which originated from Japan with over a thousand years of history. In theory, Origami is the art of paper folding to create 3-D designs and sculptures. Fast forward to today, the word “Origami” is a universal term used for all type of folding practices, regardless of its culture of origin.
Origami is a Japanese ancient art of paper folding.
The concept of Origami has been part of fashion for many decades, appearing on clothes in the form of pleats or ruffles. It is only natural that fashion designers would eventually reference this ancient old artform into their designs. The principle of origami, a type of sculpture made from a flat piece of paper, could be manipulated to something wearable and functional in fashion is definitely intriguing.
Fashion meets Origami
In that regard, the pioneers of Origami fashion are Japanese. From Junya Watanabe to Rei Kawakubo, all these designers have incorporated Origami principles into their designs and continuous to blur the line between fashion and Origami.
Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garcons.
However, the most notable designer that have made origami fashion his signature is none other than the ‘King of Pleats’ himself— Issey Miyaki. He began experiments in fine pleating or plisse back in 1988 and made its way on the runway for his Spring/Summer ’89 show. Miyaki expertly combines oriental elements with contemporary tailoring and has since won international acclaim. He describes Origami fashion as the “continual search for means by which to turn ideas into reality.”
Issey Miyaki and his Flying Saucer Dress.
During a recent interview, A-JANE’s creative director, Alice Jane shares with us that her designs often include elements of Origami.
How do you apply the art of origami into your designs?
Since the inception of A-JANE, innovation has always been the foundation for the brand. Therefore, I am continuously exploring different methods to create extravagant futuristic designs for my label and origami 3-D sculpturing does come to mind. However, the repetition of the pleats and folds in classic origami aren’t in my design repertoire, it does inspire me to modify them into A-JANE non-repetition irregular pleats/folds which bring a fresh modern twist to accentuate our art wear.
Tell us about the creative and thought process when incorporating origami-inspired techniques into your creations.
When it comes to design inspiration, I begin by visualizing the ideas that I come across, whether on paper or by draping fabrics on a mannequin. From there, I will tweak, adjust and experiment with it until I’ve achieved the desired outcome. It is during this stage where I start to picture other concepts, art forms, and design elements coming to life materialize on the mannequin.
So, whether I start to visualize Origami or architectural shapes and forms, I always start by allowing my ideas to roam freely first, before I incorporate principles from other creative fields to bring my vision into reality.