Tuesday 3rd March

| BY Dino Bonacic

Sacai: Ready-to-wear AW20

Both within and outside the industry, Chitose Abe is known as the fashion alchemyst. Long before hybrids became the ultimate tool in merging luxury brands with streetwear sensibilities, Abe came up with design solutions that merged sleek formalities of eveningwear with bustling beats of metropolitan landscapes. Led by a pragmatic soul and mind, she knows how to provide both fantasy and reality to the devoted Sacai customer.

Rooted in factuality, but allowing the audience to dream of whatever is hiding out there, her AW20 collection looked beyond the three dimensions. This was a play of perception, proportion and the ways different fabrics behave in human motion, as traditional men’s suiting became flowy gowns and statement, ladylike jewellery morphed into the classic knitwear and boxy outerwear. And what’s more real-yet-fantastical than outer space? As part of the collection, Abe worked with NASA on sourcing actual cosmic imagery which appeared as prints on longline dresses, tops and jackets. Another textile highlight came directly from the archive of American design icon Alexander Girard whose lettering patterns were re-imagined to also spell out Sacai. 

Nothing is as it seems in the world of Chitose Abe. who keeps working hard on tricking the eye while simultaneously making you think it’s exactly what you wanted in the first place. 

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.