Isabel Toledo has adapted traditional origami—the Japanese craft of folding paper into three-dimensional forms—into a technique that has given her great latitude to create complex shapes. She has applied the process of folding to a number of her favorite textiles, such as matte jersey and silk georgette.

With their high, turned-back collars, the Tube jackets and coats are Toledo’s most sculptural Origami creations. Laid flat, they are bow-shaped, two-dimensional pieces of fabric, but on the body they become three-dimensional garments, with arced lapels, triangulated cuffs, pyramidal skirts, and sail-like backs.

Based on the original Tube jacket, Toledo’s most celebrated Origami creation is the "lemongrass" coat worn by Michelle Obama to her husband’s Inauguration. For this coat, however, the silhouette has been elongated, and because it is made from several layers of material, its construction has been obscured.

tube jackets
tube jacket rear
Toledo for Obama
tube jacket front