Rei Kawakubo… Junya Watanabe … Chitose Abe. This is the sequence of the master designer-apprentice relationship that leads us to Sacai, the Japanese brand designed by Abe that provides basic, wearable items with subtle, new silhouettes that are combined with traditional, craft techniques and innovative fabric combinations.
The recent Fall ’12 Sacai collection strongly represents these qualities in a variety of sweaters, shirts, and jackets. One of our favorite pieces from this season is the short-sleeve Needle Punch crew top. It is a short-sleeve sweatshirt that has an extra wool layer on the front side that has literally been punched into the knit of the sweatshirt. This technique of dry, needle punch felting is a process that emerged from the traditional techniques of wet felting, where fibers of wool are agitated with soap and water to create friction so that the fibers interlock and become a solid piece of material. Dry, needle punching may have eliminated the hassle of dealing with liquids to create felt, however, it remains a tedious, labor-intensive task where multiple needles need to continuously punch the fibers until they form a solid shape.
What makes Sacai special is Abe’s ability to take a craft technique and place it within a modern context to create an innovative look without that Martha Stewart, made-at-home, mom look.
It is these experiments with reinterpretations that make us love Sacai and many of the other brands we carry that are affiliated with the Comme des Garcon umbrella. Each and every one of these brands are based on that foundation, however, each have a very strong personal point of view that sets them apart from one another. Sacai’s P.O.V. is feminine, yet masculine, without that sort of androgynous David Bowie feeling. In other words… Sacai won’t make you look like an annoying fashionista but will still set you apart from the guys standing next to you and looking damn good!