Chitose Abe set out to defy preconceived notions about clothes — for men and women — and she succeeded with a collection that was a color-packed mosaic of traditional tailoring, Native American blankets and nature-inspired designs from Hollywood tattoo artist Dr. Woo. These conceptual collections are loaded with risk: In the wrong hands they can look pretentious or sloppy — not to mention unwearable — but in Abe’s nimble fingers, wow!
Her glorious hybrids included a jacket that was part tailored pinstripe, part Army green anorak; blankets that morphed into kilts — and vice-versa — and a one-sleeve fisherman knit sweater. Oversized jackets and coats, meanwhile, zipped up and down to create different shapes and volumes.
Abe worked with Pendleton, better known for its Southwest American blankets, on pieces such as anoraks, trousers, long pleated dresses and capelets that were adorned with the traditional geometric patterns. The brand also worked with Nike on color-blocked, double-swoosh sneakers that captured the whimsical mood of the collection and will make their shop-floor debut in January.
Woo’s delicate tattoo designs were reborn as embroideries, with birds, bugs and nature-inspired motifs adorning pieces including a cobalt blue button-front coat, two-tone satin baseball jackets and a shrunken pink knitted poncho.
Shorts suits were a marriage of traditional check suiting and denim jacket — for all those who can’t decide what to put on in the morning — while long fringed blanket-like skirts trailed behind models — for all those who can’t bear the thought of getting out of bed.
Polka-dot silk dresses and trousers were spliced with bright green pleated panels while chiffon tops came with wispy ties on the sleeve. Coats were among the standouts of the show — especially the zipper anoraks with gently flapping ribbons in yellow, red and orange, and the denim ones with patch pockets decorated with Dr. Woo’s gentle, flapping birds.