Sacai's Chitose Abe has been at her hybridized mash-ups for years, but they just don't get boring. This was another outstanding outing for the Japanese designer, one that once more demonstrated how sensitive she is to the conceptual-commercial mix. Her trick this season was to choose iconic—predictable, even—Fall staples and spin them into something genuinely desirable. Trenchcoats, English hunting suits, skiwear, and biker jackets were the pieces in question. In Abe's hands, they looked both familiar and surprising.
Take the trench. She broke it down to its elements and fused parts to different garments. A navy velvet dress got an olive-drab cape back and collar, while a navy sweater acquired epaulets and a welted belt. As for those plaid hunting suits, they were spliced with technical nylon or fur, the hems of the jackets becoming peplums above flared pants. The après-ski section delivered the most news. Cozy sweaters with zebra patterns below a deep line of feather fringe looked fresh for Abe, and a pair of down puffers edged with fox were flashier than usual for her. They'll be hits.
The leather Perfecto pieces, married to double-breasted coats or a long velvet trapeze dress, recalled one of Junya Watanabe's most beloved collections. Watanabe, of course, was once her boss, so this felt more like a heartfelt homage than pilfering. She picked up the fine art of sampling from him, anyway. All around, fabulous.