Sacai: more urban and hybrid than ever
It's a very Sacai collection that has been thought up by designer Chitose Abe for Autumn/Winter 2018-19, demonstrating all the Japanese label's strong points, including knitwear and tartan, as well as overlapping and mixed fabrics. From the off, this menswear selection, presented in Paris on Saturday along with a number of pieces from the womenswear pre-collection, was striking for its richness and the high-energy vibe that ran through it.
In a never ending ballet, the silhouettes crossed paths briskly, wandering from one level to another in the multi-storey parking lot on rue Béranger, which formerly housed the HQ of French newspaper Libération. Sacai's urban ramblers were clothed to confront the harsh winter, sporting fur shapkas – complete with turned-down ear-flaps –, and wrapped in layers of clothing of varying lengths.
Indeed, overlapping layers were a running theme: large shorts were worn over trousers or straight jogging bottoms, while, on top, models donned ultra fine knitwear tunics, giant scruffily fringed sweaters – which at times appeared to be ponchos –, patchwork cardigans put together from scraps knitted in different stitches, and parkas or fur-lined coats.
Some outfits in worsted wool displayed different Scottish patterns (in yellow and blue or beige and chocolate), while the proportions of the sleeved pieces were revised, flaring at the bottom for greater comfort.
All the classic men's and sportswear codes were invited to take part in a perfectly orchestrated symphony. Pea coats were zippered and topped with a nylon collar like anoraks, the jacquard of a Norwegian jumper popped up on tartan tops with a large blue and black check.
Elsewhere, the nylon of a US military khaki bomber jacket was blended into a fur coat, Glen plaid rubbed shoulders with loden on a jacket, and a mini knitwear poncho with ethnic patterns was grafted onto the top of a camouflage military jacket like a pelerine.
As usual, along with the personal touches that she brings to every collection, Chitose Abe also incorporated references to other brands that are dear to her and that she wears herself: from Hawaiian patterns from cult label Reyn Spooner to fur-lined Ugg boots, via New York Times "Truth" t-shirts from the famous "Truth. It's more important now than ever" campaign.
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