The Final Frontier Chitose Abes’ mission for her women’s Fall 2020 Sacai collection explores dimensions and duality in fashions’ galaxy
Referring to Thomas Keller as simply a chef or more relevant in this example, Neil Armstrong as just an astronaut would be akin to calling Chitose Abe just a hybrid designer. This may be her approach, but the depths to which she explores this concept has made her the leader in the field. For her Fall 2020 women’s collection for Sacai, Abe looked beyond the 3-Dimensional view of her clothes to another galaxy altogether.
Sounding positively giddy while talking to reporters backstage through her interpreter, Abe explained the new dimension of time slash space-time continuum. “This collection is an exploration of movement thinking beyond 3D to incorporate movement. In the group at the end, it looks like a tuxedo but when it’s moving you see the details that make it a dress.” Panels of a dress, for example, were re-appropriated and incorporated on coats, pants and beyond creating voluminous floor-length trapeze dresses.
Mentioning the space concept really explained a lot about the show; the laser-beam lighting that crisscrossed over the raw cement show space whose floor had a vaguely moon-like surface and the soundtrack that featured the voice of Uma Thurman at the beginning of the show which was pulled from the film Gattaca complete with the sound of whirring futuristic fighter jets.
But ultimately the theme was expressed through a galactic print that was made in collaboration with NASA. The prints came about after sifting through Nasa 6000 images from which she chose 4 that resemble, as you would imagine, stars and planets twinkling in the night sky. But completely in an about-face, she also collaborated with the archives of Alexander Girard at the Vitra Design Museum for example on a playful numbers-based silk print that ended up on a head-to-toe look. “To me he represents positivity and I wanted to bring that to this collection.”
Sacai has a lot of day-to-day wear-ability at its core, crucial according to Abe (and probably good for moonwalking) but this collection was also elevated in a manner that read more couture-like and even Red Carpet for a non-traditionalist celeb. The aforementioned group in smart black and white riffed on the classic tuxedo and had an eveningwear elegance (Opera gloves drove it home) not typically seen at Sacai and a perfect example of the show’s duality. “I wanted to explore that everyone has a feminine side and a masculine side.”
Her iconic ingredients; bomber jackets; flight suits; military parachute silks were paired with lush velvets, satin, and deluxe knits to further elevate. Silhouettes played with the altered dimension changing shapes via zippers. Jewelry came ready-made on the garment like pearls and crystals, while heavy chain necklaces and earrings with ‘ear insets’ meant to resemble Air pod headphones were also discovered in this collection’s dimension.
Abe is on a journey and whatever universe she explores next, her faithful are sure to follow.