Paris Fashion Week 2014: Sacai's hybrid power

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

PARIS -- A hybrid moto-meets-Mongolian lamb jacket. A gray flannel skirt with pleats spliced with chiffon. A blazer cross-pollinated with an electric blue fisherman's knit.

For women who want classic clothes with a kick, designer Chitose Abe's Sacai label is becoming a go-to.

Her design aesthetic might be described as a softer, sportier spin on Japanese deconstruction. And her collections just keep getting better and better.

Her fall 2014 outing shown Monday at Paris Fashion Week was full of sportswear separates that were as interesting to look at from the back as from the front, including an orange menswear check wrap skirt with a lace back panel, and a blue knit sweater dress with a silk print peeking out from the skirt pleats.

It's that element of surprise that makes Sacai's collections so much fun, the moment when you discover an emerald green burnout velvet blouse also has a cable knit sweater side, and a Peruvian blanket coat with the sleek leather lapel of a biker jacket.

Charming-looking mixed tartan and scarf print dresses were a respite from the heavy wools and tweeds, and proved that there is more to Sacai than mixed parts.

The collection was vibrant and challenging but also utterly grounded in wearability. No wonder Abe's star is rising.


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