Next winter the Sacai brand is turning its back on fashion. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. It’s true that the models in designer Chitose Abe’s presentation were lined up with their backs facing the milling audience but tbut that was so that their spectators could appreciate their ensembles from reverse - back to front- and as a refection in the individual head-to-toe mirrors they faced.
It was a cleaver set up for a show that was all about turning menswear inside out. Making the underpinnings - the linings, the construction of the garment and all the hidden finishing touches- the focus of the collection. It’s a gimmick that has often been employed by menswear brands over the years. But this didn’t diminish the quality of Abe’s work.
She expertly executed the concept on green and blue varsity quilted jackets that had the top layer cut away, leaving the beautiful lining exposed. Also smart, was a perfecto wool jacket that showed the raw edged reinforcement tabs at the shoulders and articulated patches of fabric framing the elbows. Duffle coats came with their toggles twisted back and classic jackets were cut shorter then their colorful patterned lining. Leaving it to peek out from below the jacket's hemline.
Abe also extrapolated out on the concept by making some pieces reversible. Thus, adding another layer to the question, ‘What constitutes outerwear?’. Even the shoes Abe created in partnership with VANS had their lambs fur tongues turned inside out to curl over on itself and expose the logo of the collaborative effort.
If the Native American blanket pieces felt a bit too on the nose in regards to the theme, they can be forgiven when faced with the rest of this well executed collection.