Without fail every season, I make the pilgrimage to the Sacai store in Tokyo to survey the full range of Chitose Abe’s pieces because even as her ascent stockists-wise has sky rocketed, you still get a better scope in the flagship store. These are workhorse clothes because they tend to encompass an array of silhouettes, genres, prints and hidden clever details, thus making them supremely versatile to wear. With every movement you get a little “Oooh…” because you’ve discovered a useful popper or zipper, a feel-good grosgrain tab or a secret slip dress.
I don’t get to Tokyo until March/April but I got to wear one of the more elaborate looks from Sacai’s SS16 collection for last week’s dinner at Dover Street Market (significantly, the last event at their Dover Street location before the big move to Haymarket on 19th March) to celebrate their collaboration with the jeweller Sophie Bille Brahle. The keyword for Abe was to “disrupt” in a change-up from her usual garment hybridisations. And so she sought to disrupt and distort the most recognisable of vintage-isms – the typical souvenir silk scarf that you might find in £2 bins in Beyond Retro and then later, paisley bandana prints straight from Canal Street. Of course, these banalities under Abe’s cutting prowess were entirely transformed – rendered in complex lace, spliced in silk banded stripes, pleated and volumes created with open-backs, asymmetrical lengths and slits. Once again, Sacai’s clothes seen front-on don’t even tell you a quarter of the story. They need to be turned inside out, seen from the side and viewed with the excess of fabric trailing at the back.
Somehow Abe’s Sacai-isms went crazed this season – more off kilter, more textures, more asymmetries. I would hazard a guess for the wearer, there’s even more of those delicious deets to discover. With the dress I borrowed for the dinner, I loved the detachable navy pleated slip dress inside, the tailored shoulders slashed with slits and the double tiered shape that meant the lace cascades just so. With its clever play on kitschy holiday gifts, my forthcoming Sacai spree should yield a few enticing (and expensive) souvenirs to bring home.
Sacai SS16 dress worn with Dior Cruise 2016 boots
It was a good thing that the jewellery collaboration between Abe and Brahe was feted last week because in amongst the pleasure dome cacophony of prints, textiles and spliced this and that, it was difficult to see what was hanging off the ears. The ten piece capsule collection of mono earrings entitled ‘sacaisophiebillebrahe‘ centres around the pearl – either in a curved croissaint formation or singularly on a dropped chain. With my non pierced ears, I of course can’t partake in these pearly delights but these could definitely tempt me to test out the current status of my skin-metal allergy.