Chitose Abe has a carved out an ultraspecific niche with her cross-pollinated designs for Sacai, and it can’t be easy to keep it fresh. So far, she hasn’t had a stale moment and pre-fall was proof that she can remain committed to hybrid garments without being hemmed in by them. The collection charmed as it surprised: Three of the 34 looks were monochromatic, a rarity in a Sacai lineup.
Declaring that “burgundy is the new navy,” — perhaps in a nod to Rei Kawakubo’s famous Eighties edict that “Red is the new black” — Abe worked up total looks in burgundy guipure lace in a leopard motif. Like Kawakubo, Abe is a master of pattern-making, but while Rei goes abstract, Chitose keeps things real, zeroing on in familiar wardrobe items and reworking them in myriad combinations. Here, she chose the trenchcoat and the MA-1 military jacket as her primary bases. She expanded the purpose of trench belts, using them to cinch the flared sleeves of a classic beige trench and around the thighs of “bondage” pants to effect a cool new proportion. Versions of the MA-1 came feminized in Army green guipure; made from Fair Isle knits; or spliced with a tailored jacket to create trompe l’oeil layering.
There was denim and a significant folkloric moment, including tapestry fabrics. Unifying the range of themes were mountaineering references, including sheepskin tops cut like outdoorsy fleece jackets and the footwear: chunky platform sandals loosely inspired by classic hiking boots and a new hiking boot done in collaboration with Japanese company Hender Scheme.