By Katya Foreman — “One should live the way they want to, one should create the way they want to. Whatever is happening in the world, you should just follow your path,” said Chitose Abe.
There was less of the designer’s signature hybrid compositions but she stayed true to her aesthetic with military, folk, nautical and outerwear elements mixed together, and a fluid crossover between the men’s and the women’s resort collections.
Riffing on uniforms and utility, including a repurposed hunting vest layered over a suit, the overall mood was cleaner and more graphic – a tad minimalist even, though it’s not a term that applies for Abe, whose clothes are always so intricately worked. Case in point: The closing tuxedo with reflector stripes and denim-style roll up on the pant.
Among the many moments to savour was the graphic impact of the looks covered in words and slogans, and with hanging straps that had an ultra clean, preppy-punk vibe. Offset by the models’ Johnny Rotten-esque hair, they brought to mind Seditionaries punk shirts.
But there was also the richness of the fabrics, textures and colors, especially the luminous emeralds, and Abe’s cool upscale versions of camouflage on grid fabrics and tartans patterned with bleached motifs and velvet embroideries.
Striped shirting fabrics and cable knit motifs were also key ingredients, with among the show’s more unexpected twists a fringed three-piece suit, with the shell of a deflated down vest edged with cowboy fringes, which were a bit tricky.
But with punk wordsmith, the American conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner cited by Abe as the main reference – his art slogans “All in Due Course” and “Stasis as to Vector” covered some pieces – sometimes abstract work requires a little time and reflection.