Sacai: Menswear AW23

Transfiguration, hybridisation and transformation; that was the crux of Sacai AW23. Familiar forms morph into strange configurations, with straps and zips and layers and flaps of fabric mutating with the way the garment is worn. A zipper fastened or unfastened changes the shape of an asymmetric dress; a down jacket converts into a backpack-like adornment and permeates polished tailoring. The existential, 169-minute slow burn of a cult sci-fi film, Interstellar, fed the designer’s imagination this time around. Images of the “Murph’s bookcase” from the film are printed on dresses and jackets; a morse code/anomaly print features Cooper’s porch line, “It was never meant to die here”; sentiments explored in the film’s narrative such as “We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars,” are penned on mesh mock-neck tops. Together, the mix of men’s AW23 and womens’ pre-fall looks struck a perfect balance. 

Chitose Abe has always been a lover of layering, but while that approach remains ever-present, the latest collection is really a smorgasbord of disassemble-able elements. The layering was left to the cross-pollination of collaborators that pitched in. Raising a glass to a decade-long relationship, Sacai celebrates alongside Moncler with optimistic eyes on the future. Cheers to the multi-piece layerings that disconnect and reconnect, creating a modular macro-universe full of puffer-style evening gowns with pouffe sleeves and big patchwork parkas. The meeting of Sacai and Carhartt was part and parcel too, transcending time and space with generational utility silhouettes. A long Carhartt anorak with woolly white lining comes with a layer of olive green quilting; chore jackets are split with pervious side-vents; that same signature Sacai splicing and hybridising treatments is applied to MA1 jackets with skirts strapped up against the models’ shoulders. The show teased a new Nike x Sacai Magmascape trainer merger too – a remix of the cult classic Air Footscape in crimson, camel and cobalt colourways. 

Elsewhere the inky blackness of space inflected a series of severe dark matter-like looks. Abe worked a host of chunky knitwear into the collection, too, signalled by a moonrise of mind-altering, multi-colour, degradé striped twinsets.

Photography courtesy of Sacai.

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