• Text Nik Patel
  • 23rd January 2016

Check on check

Sacai’s Chitose Abe is a figurehead for creative control in fashion, with every collection being rendered utterly under the guidance of her own artistic ingenuity rather than by a commercial agenda. Abe’s unique silhouettes and, as she likes to call it, “internationality” (Sacai’s collections often stray away from the stereotypes of Japanese fashion) are what have thrust her into critical acclaim and cult prominence since the brand’s founding in 1998.

For FW16, Abe deconstructed the preppy, American varsity aesthetic, resulting in a multi-layered and immeasurably-textured ensemble. It felt deliberately and deftly disjointed. Moving away from last year’s grittier palette, Abe infused a richer array of colour, with reds, purples and blues reigning supreme. Detail was consistent but chaotic, with bandana-patterned trousers, slim-fitting and tucked into tough black boots, and an immense variety of chequering and stripes, in the form of pinstriped bottoms, school-sports jumpers with bumblebee-yellow bands, and the grid-work equivalent to Inception; micro-checked embroidery sat within larger checks printed on further checks. Abe had reconstructed the schoolboy in a cruder caricature.

Outerwear was an amalgamation of shapes and fabrics; patchwork duffel coats were cut with jagged silhouettes, in combinations of black and beige, and cream and candy-apple, and leather biker jackets came in mahogany, whilst the classic black leather was merged with cobalt-trimmed wool, cloaking the models in deconstructed comfort. Opulent purple introduced itself lined on the collar and cuffs of a stone jacket, as well as on a dropped hem that sat above the knees.

Striped scarves, turned-up trousers, and sweatshirts emblazoned with the word “LIIFE” in varsity-style imparted the schoolboy vibe, whilst the voluminous, idiosyncratic profiles authenticated the collection to Abe.