Chitose Abe's slow burn is starting to feel like a nice blaze. Less than a month ago, the Sacai designer opened her first flagship store in Tokyo's chic Aoyama neighborhood, and today she staged her first runway show for an enviable audience of All Those Who Matter.
Abe's Spring collection didn't wilt on the bigger stage. In fact, it was probably her most refined work to date. She continued her sweet subversion of sartorial codes, using menswear elements to trim the cute factor. Trapeze dresses were cut in shirting, one with painted-on stripes, and another with a trompe l'oeil cabled sweater fronting the look to give it definition, at least on the way in. The venerable gold-buttoned blazer, meanwhile, got shaped into an hourglass.
There was also a great tension of the prim and the sexy—the chic peekaboo of sweet eyelet dresses giving a PG glimpse of the briefs beneath. A crisp and proper white linen shirt and pleated skirt turned to reveal an open back and the swing of a sheer skirt with a barely detectable lace slip beneath; a ladylike cardigan and camisole came with another sheer pleated skirt, and all offending parts were covered by the long tails of the cami. Those are both one-piece looks, mind you. Abe's skill, honed over a decade, at Frankenstein-ing it all together means that she's done the work for you. As she said after the show, "It's made in a complex way, but it's easy to wear."
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