Mood board: Chitose Abe’s style is to re-code the familiar. For her S/S 2018 Sacai collection – staged in a pastel, stepped wing of Christian de Portzamparc’s Cité de la Musique – she unpacked how the wearer attaches his own stories to clothes. Each of us do the seeing, trying and then embodying of fashion differently. For some it becomes a go-to uniform, for others an acting out against the norm. This collection was an idiosyncratic riff on utility wear. Re-mixed, Ripstop was here in oversize crew neck T-shirts, shorts and trench coats and then re-imagined in silk and devoré velvet with a shower of tiny leaves bleached out, mirroring the US military’s night camo. 
Team work: The writing’s on the clothes. Words are making something of an aesthetic comeback for summer 2018. At the Off-White show in Florence, Virgil Abloh collaborated with artist Jenny Holzer to project lines from poems by refugees on the walls of the Palazzo Pitti. At Yohji Yamamoto, ‘Too old to die’ and ‘I don’t just want any soft touch’ were graffitied across jackets and T-shirts. At Sacai, the bold typographic artwork of American artist Lawrence Weiner was printed on jackets and matching trousers. Weiner is a sculptor who works with language. He was a founding figure of post-minimalist conceptual art and words from his 2012 work STASIS AS TO VECTOR (ALL) IN DUE COURSE were printed and woven into street smart looks. Open to interpretation, and as ambiguous as Abe would like it to seem.
Best in show: As the desire for a neatly fitted formal suit has waned, designers have reinvented two-piece dressing in diverse ways. Fashion or function? You choose! At Junya Watanabe it was cargo Carhartt; at Cerutti 1881 it came in untreated denim; and at Loewe, Jonathan Anderson cut the house’s first suit in fine mohair, adding a varsity trim. Sacai focused on performance details; an MA1 suit had reflector stripe in place of the satin ribbon of a classic tuxedo. Single-breasted suits were in three layers of technical fabric. Another style had thick cowboy fringing worn with the shell of a deflated down vest and pants.