Chitose Abe has been mixing together elements of different garments for years: For her fall men’s collection, she also set out to combine influences from broader street-culture trends.
“I always mix different items or products, but when I thought about a mix of culture, I didn’t think of punk and hip-hop as entirely separate. For example, I thought of how people might wear punk fashion while listening to hip-hop. It was that kind of culture mix that I started from,” she explained.
The theme also prompted Abe to enlist her friend Brian Donnelly, known professionally as the artist Kaws, to collaborate with her on the collection. She incorporated three of his artworks as prints, even recoloring one of them into a modern camouflage pattern.
“I wanted to take fine art and use it as-is to make wearable art,” Abe said. “Since Brian’s roots are in graffiti and street art, it made sense to work with him on the collection, especially since we’ve been talking about doing something together for a long time.”
Abe excels at incorporating her inspirations in subtle yet distinctive ways that still allow her signature style to take center stage. This latest offering was no exception, never feeling predictable or veering anywhere near costume territory.
Abe printed a brightly colored, abstract Kaws work over buffalo checked flannel or onto quilted down jackets, and knitted it into roomy jacquard ponchos. Exposed zipper details were both a nod to punk and a clever way of giving pieces more versatility. One example that stood out was a shearling jacket with nylon sleeves that zip off to create a vest, or can be turned inside out for a more uniform look. Another jacket had puffer panels that can be attached at different places or removed entirely.
Classic styles such as wool duffle coats and blazers looked fresh in bright shades of orange or mustard yellow and when spliced together with lighter pieces such as track jackets or windbreakers. There were more pops of color than some of her past collections, but overall there was a cohesion and stylishness that was unmistakably Sacai.