Everyone loves a uniform, but no one more so than Chitose Abe, who based her Sacai collection on some of her favorite go-to pieces while exploring new silhouettes. She also wanted to look at the “form” in uniform, and telegraph a message of happiness and unity with her designs.
Message received. Who couldn’t smile as those new proportions made their way down the runway on men and women: the coats and jackets with sleeves as round and grand as those of Tudor kings; the sleeveless sweater vests stretched to extra-long lengths and transformed into dresses, and the tall platform boots made for walking — and towering over the flat-footed masses.
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Those exaggerated proportions stretched beyond the regal Renaissance sleeves and into tweedy jackets with fat puffer panels at the back; coats edged with puffer pleats the size of airplane pillows, and chunky corduroy jackets done in green and purple jewel tones.
Abe worked with the artist Mark Gonzales to create the badges for those jackets, and for bubble-shaped bomber styles, too. The badges had messages such as, “One Love” with a picture of a hand holding up an index finger; “Sacai & Gonzales,” and “The Good Vibes Tribe.”
Gonzales, wearing a colorful and patchy jacket of his own, said after the show: “It sent me through the roof to see all the stuff on the runway. I’m really proud.”
Abe also played a color game, going monochrome with intense, drenched colors — as in a screaming yellow ribbed knit dress with puffy sleeves on a female model. She also worked with contrasts, such as bright purple fur around the edges of white zip-front coat dotted with the Gonzales badges.
She tackled the naval uniform, too, transforming a double-breasted great coat with those imposing rounded sleeves, and sliding the frogging on a navy blue duffel coat to the side, resulting in a charmingly off-kilter look.
The designer added those same giant sleeves to a pajama suit, leading one to wonder just how wide beds, sofas, and doorframes now have to be in order to accommodate all of Abe’s fresh ideas.
Launch Gallery: Sacai Men’s Fall 2024 and Women’s Pre-Fall 2024
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