“The more simple we are, the more complete we become.”
The words of French sculptor Auguste Rodin resonated loud and clear in the spring collection at Sacai, where designer Chitose Abe approached silhouettes as sculptures.
Even the parking garage where she’d previously shown her fall collection turned into a bit of an art gallery, with gray felt covers lending a Joseph Beuys mien to the seating.
Abe “really feels that it’s her mission to create something new from the archetype of the garments,” she said backstage through a translator.
She sought purity by paring staples such as MA-1 jackets, tuxedo and classic shirting back to sculptural impressions.
Crispness in these silhouettes came from their function-first original garments, while owing their breeziness to Abe’s lighthanded approach to transformations.
Sets emerged from, say, a shirt by zooming in on the volumes of its collar, sleeves and body in individual looks. One skirt was made from a tuxedo trouser leg blown up just enough for the crotch point to become a mini-skirt. Flight jackets became cocoon-like coats.
A minimal palette drawn from the original garments, and the absence of any sort of motifs to avoid distraction — save for Rodin’s words on a top, an intarsia sweater and a floral print — further drove that impression.
Throughout, the designer’s sharp construction shone brightest in organza versions that left no room for approximative finishing, or how impeccably graphic inside-out blazers looked, pockets and linings removed.
It was as straightforward — and Sacai — as it gets. In a season where many have played it safe by going for simplicity, Abe made a point that you can do the latter without having to resort to being bland.