Sacai Spring 2012: Hybrids, Simple in Their Complexity

Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--The past few years, Sacai, designed by Chitose Abe--an alumnus of Comme des Garçons--has been on an expansion course. Last season’s mini-showings have blossomed into a full runway show this time. Three weeks ago the company opened a flagship store in the Aoyama Minato-ku shopping district of Tokyo about a block down from the Prada mega building. And Sacai menswear is emerging from its underground cult status and has been presented in Paris during the men’s shows. While Ms. Abe’s signature and innovative work with knits remained the foundation for today’s collection--shown at the back of the Hotel d’Evreux near place Vendome--the spring clothes indicate an evolution in her masterful recombinant techniques marrying one element of a garment to another. This spring collection continued to feature her skilled combinations of different types of fabrics onto one garment and her ability to alter the forms of skirts, dresses, or cardigans--or mixing elements of each--to arrive at a new garment like a dress with a ribbed cotton front.
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Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--The past few years, Sacai, designed by Chitose Abe--an alumnus of Comme des Garçons--has been on an expansion course. Last season’s mini-showings have blossomed into a full runway show this time. Three weeks ago the company opened a flagship store in the Aoyama Minato-ku shopping district of Tokyo about a block down from the Prada mega building. And Sacai menswear is emerging from its underground cult status and has been presented in Paris during the men’s shows. While Ms. Abe’s signature and innovative work with knits remained the foundation for today’s collection--shown at the back of the Hotel d’Evreux near place Vendome--the spring clothes indicate an evolution in her masterful recombinant techniques marrying one element of a garment to another. This spring collection continued to feature her skilled combinations of different types of fabrics onto one garment and her ability to alter the forms of skirts, dresses, or cardigans--or mixing elements of each--to arrive at a new garment like a dress with a ribbed cotton front.
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Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.

PARIS--The past few years, Sacai, designed by Chitose Abe--an alumnus of Comme des Garçons--has been on an expansion course. Last season’s mini-showings have blossomed into a full runway show this time. Three weeks ago the company opened a flagship store in the Aoyama Minato-ku shopping district of Tokyo about a block down from the Prada mega building. And Sacai menswear is emerging from its underground cult status and has been presented in Paris during the men’s shows.

While Ms. Abe’s signature and innovative work with knits remained the foundation for today’s collection--shown at the back of the Hotel d’Evreux near place Vendome--the spring clothes indicate an evolution in her masterful recombinant techniques marrying one element of a garment to another. This spring collection continued to feature her skilled combinations of different types of fabrics onto one garment and her ability to alter the forms of skirts, dresses, or cardigans--or mixing elements of each--to arrive at a new garment like a dress with a ribbed cotton front.

However, this season Ms. Abe also rendered the collection more feminine with billowing shapes and sexy broderie anglaises with white cotton eyelet trench coats that revealed the skirt underneath. A navy ribbed short sleeve sweater with cotton short collar and flare back dress, a white cotton shirt with a cowl neck knit cardigan sewn on top, and an attached white cotton pleated poplin micro-skirt were her signature all-in-one outfits.

One of the best looks was a navy cardigan with an attached folded khaki skirt back and a navy knit skirt with a white cotton tutu. A simple long navy short sleeve knit dress with embroidered shirt collar and an open back with an attached flared khaki skirt were also standouts. This description doesn't adequately protray the simplicity of construction and the beauty of this look on the runway as the model turned around to reveal the backside. I loved the white double-breasted coat and white satin/ yellow lace dress combination.

It’s clear that Sacai’s customers adore that attention to small detail in each of the garments; either they are a hybrid top or an all-in-one variety garment. There’s a great deal of workmanship involved in many of her creations. You almost have to appreciate this kind of workmanship to really appreciate the clothes. It’s another example of the antithesis to fast fashion today.

*Photos: Imaxtree