Show notes can often be confusing, yet Chitose Abe hit the nail on the head in calling her spring effort a “new hybrid form free from its original meaning.” The Japanese designer presented a mash-up of her habitual textures, while this time also throwing in different references of time and even gender.
It was a well-conceived homage to the Paradise Garage, the legendary New York disco, where clubbers of different colors and sexual orientations danced the night away in the Eighties. (Proceeds from the sale of those items bearing the club’s logo would be donated to help the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the designer said.)
As the soundtrack layered Robin S’ “Show Me Love” with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” models flashed their double-fronted leather perfectos under plaid ponchos that were cut like shirts or strolled in Peruvian-inspired knitted Bermudas and enveloping fringed scarves that were matched with rigid military parkas. Tropical prints on silky pajama shirts and drop-crotch pants proved a surprisingly symbiotic alliance with quilted mesh or checked stadium jackets.
Counter to the industry’s habit of producing single-themed collections, Abe traveled across time, styles and cultures to conjure a truly global fella. It was sometimes hard to grasp the flurry of influences – but that made the collection all the more intriguing.