Sacai’s clothes don’t look how they’re ‘supposed’ to. Aesthetics are corrupted, stripped and spliced, and the conventional distinctions of day-to-night are blurred; but somehow, it works. Chitose Abe hyperbolised this, this season, exploring the notion of “everything in its right place”. She believes that in our world, there is a place and a space for everybody and for everything, even if at first glance it may seem amiss.
Abe has always been a lover of layering, the more eclectic the better, but while that approach remains ever-present, this collection is really a smorgasbord of dissected silhouettes. Finding beauty in unexpected places, she took her signature subversive elegance to new design dimensions where exposed seams, colour-blocking and perplexing orientations take the baton. Everything was warped, cut up and stitched back together in new positions, shifted on an axis or totally scrambled. Long slit skirts, for example, were sewn with a sachet shoulder strap and patch pocket. Sling up the strap and the skirt becomes asymmetric. Over your arm you’ll also have a bag. Now that’s a fluid transformation.
Elsewhere, the familiar forms of tweed twinsets, overcoats and culottes morphed into strange configurations spliced together with mesh and rooted in mischievously intertwined utilitarian silhouettes. Black shirts, pleated minis and a triple-layered trench coat were punctuated by ice white tacking stitches – leftovers from the bonding process that holds two fabric panels together and in place. Vertically slashed skirts and fluted skirts unwound around the legs.
Abe thrives when clothing gets complex, but while her instincts this season may have slanted into elegance, the conventional is the least of her concerns. Nothing is ever as it seems; but it’s always welcome.
Photography courtesy of Sacai.