Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt.
PARIS--“At the very beginning, knits were the bases of the concept, but since then, it has been about merging various types of categories, such as the trench, the bomber jacket, or the biker jacket, or a classic men's knit pull-over or cardigan sweatercombined with a skirt or a skirt and a cardigan and so forth,” said Chitose Abe following the second of her three mini shows this morning inside the courtyard of the Hotel d’Evreux. Ms. Abe, who established Sacai in 1999 after either years of working with Junya Watanabe at Comme des Garçons, has been presenting in Paris over the past few years. But it was her first time doing a small live presentation, with models wearing everything from a beige fringed knit and a brown short skirt, to a flared sleeve cable knit sweater with a sleeveless pull-over trench and a feather skirt, to an asymmetrical cable knit skirt with chiffon underlay and a sleeveless cotton tank and fur aviator collar.
“The concept for Sacai has always been about taking a familiar or classical idea and merging it with a completely different textured idea or sometimes merging several different categories into one. I am always thinking of different ways to invent different types of silhouettes with volume,” she said.
Using cable knit as a base for this season, Ms. Abe chopped, dissected and collated different pieces of a sweater onto skirts, jackets and coats, keeping with her principle idea of juxtaposing contrasting textures of fabrics and materials onto one garment. A dark olive knit corset attached to a flared sleeve velvet turtleneck top, a purple knit dress with light pink chiffon ruffles, or a grey wool trench with cable knit sleeves exemplify this. The combination of fabrics gave each look a three dimensional feel, as a smooth wool encounters a fluffy heavy wool knit.
I have seen and worked with Sacai’s clothes before. But this time, seeing them worn by models, I noticed how elaborate the designs of the back part of each garment really are. From the rear side, a black short dress has a vertical slit revealing layers of red chiffon and a knit skirt, a black short velvet coat is cut open with mustard satin lapels like the front of a smoking jacket, and a burgundy coat is cut to show the inner lining. In fashion, the rear view is rarely interesting. Here is an exception. It’s refreshing to see a designer who is so focused on making what she likes and so unconcerned with trends and with being fashionable.