It was too darn hot at this show, which unfurled in a green courtyard at the Sorbonne. Guests clustered in the shade until the very last minute and, after taking their seats, sizzled in the 95-degree heat of the afternoon and hoped for a show that was beautiful, and not too long.
Chitose Abe delivered, serving up men’s and women’s pieces inspired by her school days and an overall feeling of positivity, which came through in the punchy primary colors that she worked into sculptural ribbed knits and Fair Isle sweaters with a psychedelic edge.
The collection’s do-it-yourself mood came from her efforts to jazz up her own school uniform back in Japan, hence all the patchwork, splicing and off-kilter hemlines. Suits were hybrid creations made from sturdy Carhartt denim and pin-striped wool with patch pockets and contrast lining on the collar.
One deep blue jacket and shorts combo was covered with tone-on-tone patches shaped like a child’s doodles: stars, leaves and “Sacai” written in sloping, exaggerated letters were all in the mix. T-shirts and sweaters had similar swirly patterns printed or sewn on.
The designer adorned nearly all of the outfits with colorful necklaces that looked as if they were made from puka shells, or the bright pop beads that kids use to make jewelry.
Abe also whipped up more straightforward uniform dressing, including a boxy, fly-front shirt, which she paired with wide-leg trousers and a matching khaki trench. A little black dress with a white collar was delightful, its long fluttery sleeves catching the occasional soft breeze that blew through the white hot courtyard, a sartorial and climatic respite for the sweaty crowd.