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SACAI’S mixed up version of Fall Classics

March 26, 2010

Sacai is a Japanese collection designed by Chitose Abe who spent many of her earlier years at both Comme des Garsons and Junya Watanabe prior to starting her collection 12 years ago.  In keeping with her training, Abe has a mixed media approach to her designs incorporating softer elements for a quieter approach to this aesthetic.  She is known for designing with contrasting textiles while also focusing on shape with an intellectual perspective.

For Fall 2010, Sacai focused on a return to classics in her reinterpretation of Parisian posh dressing designing tweed jackets and skirts incorporating blouses, embroidered cardigans and classic duffle coats to tell the story.  The surprise element in the designs were the pieces that looked like separates but were actually one piece.  She spliced and diced fabrics into skirts and tops for a charming take on Parisian Posh.  Sacai’s way of tweaking classics, combining the masculine with the feminine, and dissecting and reconstructing familiar items is utterly charming. Classic fabrics of silk, tweed and wool were combined with paisley prints and Fairisle/Argyle knits in a nod to the past, while the textures and shapes were decidedly modern.

The Collection was presented  on classic linen forms in a clean white gallery space in the Marais. Forms were spaced out to complete a large rectangle allowing editors to walk in and out of the looks as if they were Chess pieces on a game board.  Overhead spotlights were placed strategically from high above to replicate a skylight.  The environment felt somewhat spiritual and reminded me of the quiet feeling I got when I visited several Church cathedrals throughout the city.

Here are some close-ups of some of my favorite pieces so that you can see the intricacy of her designs.



Silk and transparent panels were sewn into tweed as pleats

Below, this pearl embroidered top is detachable from the blazer allowing a woman more diversity within her wardrobe options:

Transparent fabrics are mixed with embroidery and menswear silhouettes

Mixing Tweeds with softer fabrics is a refreshing take on Preppy


Embroidered classic cardigans were shown

This tuxedo interpretation combines wool, knit and silk for a beautiful intricate tailored piece.  You cannot see the all the contrasting textiles in this picture, but it was quite lovely.

The soft layers and color palette was beautiful in contrast to the tweeds

This look was breathtaking and so intricate.  So representative of the skills of this designer, silk is bunched and pleated and maneuvered to create the beautiful shape and texture

Paisley scarf fabric/shape

Sacai is known for beautiful soft knits used in intricate designs as seen here.  The classic pairing of navy and camel nods to the past while the design gives way to future trends.

Intricate knitwear to produce shape is a huge trend for Fall

A unique offering of the Fairisle trend


One of the key pieces in every Parisians wardrobe is a Classic Duffle coat with horn toggles.  I saw these on all walks of life on the streets of Paris.  I loved Sacai’s updated versions using tulip flutter sleeves and cape accents for her take on this key wardrobe piece.


Beautiful construction using wool to create tulip shapes on the sleeves and collar

I personally would love to wear the gloves below as “my outfit” with a classic white Vneck tee, japanese raw cuffed denim and Dries men’s saddle oxfords.

Amazing gloves using tulle, pearls and gold chains which was a combination in most of the accessories I saw in Paris.

Below, a capelet version of the coat is layered over a long cardigan.  CAPES are also a big trend for fall and everyone should invest in a great one for the upcoming season.  I saw them worn by all the chicest women and street stylers in Paris.  This trend was in play this Spring with Chloe’s beautiful camel cape featured in her ad campaign.


Soft wool capes like this are very versatile and a great wardrobe staple in any closet

Anoraks were presented in a new light combined with dressier fabrics and developed into skirts and cropped versions seen here.  The great thing about these anoraks is that they are so versatile and could be worn with many different looks from both sporty/casual to minimal chic.


Paring dressier fabrics such as this tweed jacket with athletic fabrics like this anorak was seen on many Fall runways

Retailers that couldn’t necessarily sell the intricate items could definitely sell these anoraks merchandised on their floor with basic separates, jersey styles and denim. That was the beauty of this collection- its diversity and surprise multi functional use. Each piece could be worn in so many different ways and could easily be incorporated into a woman’s basic wardrobe.

The Sacai collection is currently carried by the following online retailers:  Yoox, Kirnazabete and Shopstyle.

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