Sacai Resort 2017 Runway Collection
Normally Chitose Abe comes to Paris only for her women’s runway collections, so it was a treat to find her in a temporary showroom today, hours after her men’s show and shortly before her return to Tokyo. It’s not that she shared any revelatory backstory to her Sacai Resort collection, which pretty much hewed to her signature mastery of opposites attract.
Her presence simply helped form a closer association between character and craft. Abe had every reason to be proud of her homage to a crochet quilt; its colorful patchwork arrangement had been printed atop lace so that, from a distance, the openwork could have been either. As a poncho broken up by denim, the treatment was unpretentious and ingenious. In a similar vein, only upon close inspection might you discover hibiscus flowers embedded within a grid of lace. The collection was ripe with other randomness: trimmings borrowed from Afghan embroidery, smocked dresses in denim paisley jacquard punctuated with pineapples, and woven Mexican blankets turned into a parka. Abe blithely chalked up this mélange to the freedom that comes with designing in modern times. She reiterated that new ideas frequently materialize from what she would want to wear; as in, why settle for a classic tweed suit when you could transform it into a sporty minidress lined with a tuft of lace, or piece together a funky kilt? Women won’t need much persuading here.
Abe duly drew attention to a hickory stripe jacket, pointing out that the material was uncut velvet—an uncommon material disguised as common workwear. But it’s also worth pointing out that, for all the whimsy, Abe filled the collection with utilitarian outerwear.