Mood board: Since launching in 2009, Sacai’s men’s line has established its signature style. Designer Chitose Abe is an alumna of Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe, and their influence is clearly signposted in her work. What Abe does, however, is tailor their eccentricity into something lighter, with a more delicate appeal. For A/W 2017 she explored the sense of mashing things together – creating garments from a hybrid of ideas. Fittingly, during a season which has focussed a lot on the heroes of art and the Beat Generation, the show was soundtracked by a lecture from the American novelist William S Burroughs. In it he spoke about making film or sound recordings by cutting and editing pre-existing material. Abe had applied the very same cut-up technique – famous for its influence on Bowie – to her clothes.
Finishing touches: Merging familiar menswear classics, Abe reassembled ideas in idiosyncratic pairings. Concealed decoration was key, from the studded punk biker collars to the decorative braid applied to a gun club check blazer. Standout were the outerwear pieces in a pixelated-camo shearling. Utilitarian wool work shirts were adorned with ceremonial braids.
Best in show: The show marked the season’s second outing for The North Face. A day after Junya Watanabe featured jackets cut from its classic duffel, Sacai unveiled its own capsule collection with the American brand. Central were the oversize parkas based on one of Sacai’s best-selling designs and a twist on the MA-1 bomber jacket. The project falls under The North Face Urban Exploration – a premium concept that aims to create more trend-led utility styles.