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Pleated Effects


28 January 2022

Fluting, grooves, striations and false folds structure the materials. Among the references, the antique columns, the pleated fabrics of Issey Miyake, the draperies of Christo… What’s new in 2021? The range of materials and creations on which these sculptural effects are drawn. Architects, fashion designers and designers apply this vertical geometry, as if to reveal the facets of the material : leather or concrete, mesh or silk, glass or resin, all take the bend.


In this very architectural aesthetic, retail spaces as well as fashion accessories (bags, skirts) or decoration (lampshades, fans, ceramics) rely on radical minimalism. The art of creating the sophisticated and uncluttered, by creating vertical lines, is becoming a trend in its own right.

  • Variant


  • Style


  • Trendsetter


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Fluting, which appeared in ancient civilizations long before our era, on columns, pilasters, consoles, sarcophagi and vases, is the oldest surface ornament in architecture. Today, they inspire all areas of creation. Designers, fashion designers and scenographers use vertical grooves as a way to give a rich but delicate character to their pieces and collections.

Solace London, PRE-FALL 2019

Red Valentino Resort 2020

From Solace London to Red Valentino to Nanushka, pleated and sculpted lines have found their way into designers’ collections with a variety of effects, sometimes in the manner of a « palm leaf », sometimes in the manner of a « plastic wrapping » like Christo’s Pont-Neuf. The trendsetter? The Japanese Issey Miyake, who in 1990 established himself as the maestro of pleating with collections for Pleats Please using hyper-malleable fabrics.


Nanushka Pre-Fall 2020 © Alice Neale


Le Pont-Neuf by Christo, 1985

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Leather or mesh, ceramic or concrete, all materials are bent into shape

Laëtitia Fortin

Stolen x Apalepetal

These regularly hollowed and disciplined striations are reminiscent of the shape of canelés, small cylindrical cakes typically from Bordeaux. The proof: Mansur Gavriel’s pleated bags, like the pieces in Läetitia Fortin’s Cuir de caractère collection, seem to be made of traditional or reinvented copper fluted moulds.

Balloon Bag by Mansur Gavriel

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Repossi shop in Paris

Boutique Typology by Goodmoods © Paul Blind

Minimalist retail spaces sculpt their style through the art of creating uncluttered spaces while relying on sophisticated surfaces and singular coverings. Like a key decorative feature, fluting and creases adorn the showroom of the cosmetics brand Typology, designed by Goodmoods.

Restaurant Mondieu by studio Maister

Casa A12 in Madrid by Lucas Y Hernandez-Gil

Folds play with materials

An approach taken by Paola Paronetto and her abstract-inspired Paper Clay bottle. Made of paper, it has a complex texture with long vertical ridges along the thin cylindrical body and alternating vertical and horizontal ridges on the tapered neck.

Papier mâché, ceramics, resin, stone, natural fibres… The grooves are integrated into all the materials, creating different partitions according to the materials but always with finesse. On Hayo Gebauer’s experimental objects and Juliette Berthonneau’s textile creations, the concave and convex shapes compose almost futuristic scenographies, while on GRT Architects’ concrete tiles, they suggest ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

Collection Flutes and Reeds by GRT Architects fornKAZA Concrete

Fendi, Design Miami 2019 © Omar Sartor

Solace London

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Sight Unseen

Vases Muccia by Cristina Celestino

Furniture is also more pleated than ever. Particularly the lampshade, which has been reworked by contemporary designers – Hay, Oscar Piccolo and Kim Lê – who are revisiting the object as a twirling fan-shaped hat or a Chinese lantern of a different kind. A piece as playful as it is decorative.

Lamps Cappello d’Oscar Piccolo

Pleated Lamp Shades by Curated Spaces

Kepler Pleats

Tabouret by Charlotte Kidger

Sofa by Joris Poggioli for Kolkhoze via @studio.photonic

Short Jacquemus @endlesslyloveclub

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