Having whetted appetites with a handful of silhouettes dotted in Sacai’s fall men’s wear show, Chitose Abe unfurled her hybridization across her pre-fall women’s collection as well.
And it’s not just about synchronizing calendars either. There was an added three-dimensional aspect to these clothes that could be attributed to the many more categories available in women’s wear, but also to how much could be said on the subject by someone whose belief in it is unshakeable.
It was a winter wardrobe revisited with feminine touches and luxuriant materials that could see plenty of wear in cold weather — as well as more clement climes. Cue velvet vests with floating silk skirts, trenchcoats warped with cardigans or a tweed “faux canvas” splinched with a Nordic circle poncho — awkward on paper, lovely in the flesh.
There’s a lot going on as Sacai’s no minimalist, but sliced vertically or horizontally, her hybrids showed their constituent elements. An MA-1 vest, paired with a silk camisole and a floral pleated skirt transformed into a wrap dress. Slicing a Prince of Wales waistcoat, a fur, a puffer and another MA-1 jacket diagonally with a heavy-duty zipper gave a biker jacket flavor. Stocking, cables and waffles sound like random supplies, but as knitting patterns found on a jacket, they shone.
Her skill in these fetching crossbreeds is her willingness to know her ingredients under different circumstances and in which form to use them. Take the Reyn Spooner motifs, which appeared as embroideries, as prints and as an intarsia motif. They too were hybrids: of the bandana motif seen time and again in the Sacai universe, and of an original design by the specialist brand that was itself a mix of Hawaiian motifs and of bandanas worn by sailors visiting the archipelago.
As aviator Douglas Bader once said, “Rules are for the obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men,” or in Abe’s case, women.