Junichi Abe is doing a good job at constructing a relevant wardrobe based on laid-back silhouettes and — with the exception of a pop of fuchsia for spring — subdued colors. Tailored, yes, but essentially very athletic.
The show opened with a mellow take on suiting, featuring a pajama-inspired top and drawstring trousers, which the designer styled with a loose trench rendered in a wrinkled technical fabric, signaling from the start that this was going to be a nonchalant affair.
Gradually the pants got fuller, handsomely folded over the front or with a drop crotch, while tops explored the idea of hybrids through interesting material and pattern mixes. Cue teddies with draped sleeves, harking back to puffy retro-blouses; crisp, smocklike coats embossed with a crocodile pattern that gave structure to an ultralight material, and cardigans wrapped like kimono jackets boasting ethnic ornaments. Just don’t ask Abe what ethnicity he referenced for spring — his approach is not all that cerebral. “Sorry, I don’t know,” he said backstage, “I just wanted to throw in some ethnic flavor and express the whole thing about soft and stiff, natural and technical.” It worked.