Sacai designer Chitose Abe is the first that Jean Paul Gaultier tapped in an ongoing series to reinterpret his couture collections

One of the most hotly anticipated events of this couture season is the relaunch of Jean Paul Gaultier's couture, seen through the eyes of various designers the legendary tapped to reinterpret his designs after he chose to step down in January 2020. The first to do so is Chitose Abe of Sacai, and audiences waited with bated breath as the debut was delayed twice due to COVID. Finally, the collection was revealed through a live show set on a dark, elongated stage as models strode between strobe lights. 


In an incredible marriage of styles, Abe brought back Gaultier signatures like the Madonna bustiers, sailor stripes and airplane hats, while weaving her own signature of splice-and-dice tailoring and elaborate layering. The most spectacular looks showed off her mastery of shape, from the exploded trench coats, enormous bubble bomber jacket look to the corseted pinstripe piumino dress. Abe's long-time collaborator tattoo artist Dr. Woo also inked the symbols on the skin suits featuring Gaultier-esque mythic prints.

When asked what some of her favourite memories of Gaultier was, Abe cited the moment musician Björk wore a fur-trimmed cape on the  Gaultier runway in 1994. The piece was reimagined and revived in the show with a shimmering crest and sheer skirt. 

Abe says Gaultier gave her carte blanche, only seeing a few photos before witnessing the collection in its full glory for the first time today alongside the public. Gaultier proudly applauded her from the front row, rising to take a bow with Abe before heading to the balcony with the models to wave like to adoring fans on the streets.

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