At Sacai, Chitose Abe said her “kachikan,” a Japanese word that straddles the notions of values and priorities, was challenging preconceptions. The one she went on to address in her fall collection was the idea of elegance, represented by traditional garments.
Dissecting these with her usual razor-sharp precision, the designer shifted their components to the side or vertically — consider that hybridizing each item with itself, if you will.
She also cleaved away sportswear and utility elements she usually works with, leaving only by-the-book wide-leg trousers, lavalliere blouses and tailored outerwear, morphed into longline, pared back silhouettes with just enough volume to give them that Sacai va-va-voom.
If anything, it was proof that opposites do attract, even in textile form: front and back, knits and woven fabric, black and white, solid and transparent. Even her show venue, a former car dealership’s parking garage that at once echoed the rawer sides of her looks while highlighting their overall elegance.
Among the standouts were the boxy suit jackets revamped into shorter, layered variants; a long, straight skirt with a split could be transformed by slipping a slim strap over the shoulder, turning it asymmetrical and adding in-built bags, and trenchcoats, always a winning shape in Abe’s hands. Basting stitches used to keep materials in place for seam bonding lost their functional purpose but were kept on as adornment and which the designer pointed out these as examples of her belief in the beauty of imperfections.
You could argue that this was a departure from the Sacai playbook, but imagine those pieces spliced into her overall universe — or into a contemporary wardrobe currently chockablock with sportswear. That too would result in interesting hybridizations.
“Everything in its right place,” proclaimed the T-shirt Abe was wearing. Her lineup suggested that any place can be right, provided you shift the way you look at it.