Junichi Abe took his imagination and scissors to wool sweaters this season, snipping holes here and there for a ragged look. Calling the process “destroy and repair,” the designer then set about patching them up, adding fabric in scraps or as a lining, including a colorful, rayon Hawaiian print. Now they couldn’t be mistaken as neglected. Further proof: external stitching in places, repair-job style; zigzags in one case, and, near the armpit, a vertical row of horizontal stitches.
“I wanted to make an image of the opposite side of luxury,” he said. Sweaters were built extra large, then washed and shrunk, to set the edges and avoid fraying.
For men, there was a gray, collared cardigan, cut like a suit jacket, that hung loose and low. The women’s version was embellished with large, colorful rhinestones.
The label decided to show the men’s and women’s collections together, instead of traipsing back to Paris for the ready-to-wear shows in March.
Further pushing the boundaries, he also melded three different sweaters together, making an entirely new whole out of different parts and tricking the eye with a cardigan flap skewed at the waist.
Abe continued to explore mountaineering gear, training his sights on old-fashioned pieces this season. He embellished a coat with cords, fasteners and strips of ribbon woven with floral prints, like something you might see in the Alps a century ago. Another highlight was a pair of trousers for women embellished with extra flaps in the form of a shirt and a scarf hanging off to one side.
Life-sized screens displayed models wearing the pieces in an everyday, office setting in Tokyo. Footwear, a brand-follower favorite, included furry sandals and elegant, heeled boots with patches of tape and layered sneakers.