Mood board: The back of a sweatshirt in Chitose Abe’s A/W18 collection came with a warning. Printed onto it was the rousing declaration published in The New York Times on 26 Feb 2017: ‘Truth is more important now than ever.’ Abe translated this sentiment into an exploration of perception – championing a certain zany bravado that somehow managed to make a totally convincing proposition for modern dressing. It had a primal urgency. A cardigan composed of different spliced knits expressed a number of ideas coming together into one whole. Tops, leggings and shorts were fringed. MA-1 jackets expanded into shearlings; plaids puzzled together.
Finishing touches: In this time of fake news, the quest for truth is pertinent. Everywhere you turn, the politics of sex, gender and dress are being picked apart and redesigned for the new world. If the front row murmurings are to be believed, the future of separate seasonal menswear and womenswear shows is dubious. Kenzo, Burberry and JW Anderson have all combined them. Abe’s menswear was shown alongside the women’s pre-fall collection. The synergy between the two was a cool nod to gender-free style as Nordic knits were fused with American military wear; Fair Isle with pinstripe, arran mixed with cricket sweaters.
Team work: Hawaiian prints on corduroy, waffle and embroidery on outerwear were by the American heritage company, Reyn Spooner. Navajo feather charms were made by Goro’s. The real surprise for A/W18? Back are the stubby sheepskin boots that first came into their own in the early noughts as the footwear of choice for off-duty celebrities. Uggs went out of style for almost a decade so they have been suitably uncool for long enough to allow their status to be subverted. At Y/Project, Glenn Martens unveiled his version of the boot, which was elongated up to the thigh. He amplified its suburban slouch. Abe has collaborated with the brand on the tidy, mini style in tan, grey and black. They told a vital truth: comfort matters.