For her bow, Chitose Abe wore a white parka and a T-shirt that said “Truth. It’s more important now than ever,” from The New York Times’ “The truth is” 2017 ad campaign. Both were a nod to climate — meteorological and metaphorical.
The times we live in, she said backstage through a translator, mandated a reminder that truth and sticking to one’s beliefs are important. In a season where hybridization is the name of the fashion game, hers were plenty evident on the runway.
It came down to a principle of authenticity. To best illustrate this, she tapped those whose approach fit the “Sacai-ness” sense of the concept: Hawaiian shirt experts Reyn Spooner for the bandana-like print in the early parts of the collection; later on, Uggs for footwear.
Dangling from lanyards, silver feathers glinted, on loan from the archives of Japanese jewelry brand Goro’s — by the late Goro Takahashi, one of the few non-Native Americans allowed to participate in the “Sun Dance” — a reminder that one’s truth can be weighed up, as ancient Egyptians believed, against a feather of the goddess Ma’at.
As for the clothes themselves, they were hard workers worth more than the sum of their parts. Plaids climbed along entire silhouettes, without ever looking cliché, while knits had trailing fringes along the arms and coats were dressed in patchworks of English fabrics and plaids. Impeccably combined parka jackets looked like what keen skiers would wear to a very chic mountaintop clubbing hot spot, but they will wow on the streets as powerfully as her previous North Face hookup did.
The heavy weather tone imparted by Nordic knits and Fair Isle sweaters spliced with military utility and suiting fit in with — but ultimately surpassed — the ongoing utility trend of the last few seasons. Designers and sports lifestyle brands have been trying for that kind of transversal wardrobe for years; Abe delivers. An object lesson, by a master.