The fabric lies as flat as a pancake on the table, its neat square folds reflected in the pretty geometric pattern on its surface.
But with a gentle tug, it springs into a dynamic three-dimensional expanse of fabric, transformed as though by magic into part sculpture, part dress.
This is the latest creation of Issey Miyake, the most iconic of Japanese designers, who this week unveils his first new fashion range in more than a decade.
Miyake, now 72, has long been a master of avant-garde fashion.
From the signature crinkles of his Pleats Please range to the single-cloth garments in his A-POC line, his work frequently fuses the futuristic technology for which Japan is famed with the purity of its traditional craftsmanship.
After handing over the reins on his fashion career to Naoki Takizawa in 1994 and 1999, who has since been succeeded by Dai Fujiwara, he has been concentrating on design research ever since.
And so it should perhaps come as little surprise to learn that the material metamorphosis of a piece of fabric from 2D to 3D lies at the unconventional heart of his new range, called 132 5.