In this season, when so many designers have been fusing, hybridizing, and patchworking garments together—Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga and John Galliano at Maison Margiela, for two—let’s take a moment to applaud the woman who started it all. That Chitose Abe has brought about this change in the weather—a new normal in the language of fashion—is a success story which is reflected in the size of her Sacai business. What she started when she took up a pair of knitting needles in her apartment in Tokyo 20 years ago (as a mother at home with her baby daughter) has grown into a phenomenon which now sells men’s as well as womenswear throughout the world.
Her skill—apart from the ability to make one outfit out of parts of many garments—is knowing the right archetypes to call on at any given time. This Fall, as classics have become a subject du jour, she was yet again on point, polishing up her assemblages with menswear tweeds, trad rainwear, school – blazer stripes, banker-stripe shirting, navy blazers, and generic down jackets. The general effect was half-and-half, this time arranged on a vertical axis rather than back-to-front (a point humorously underscored by the unmatched footwear) . This was a strong, graphic collection which will surely fly.