After landing a branded helicopter in the middle of a CGI-generated empty Shibuya crossing for last season’s presentation, Chitose Abe had her work cut out for her to generate the same amount of buzz for spring. But since the COVID-19 pandemic prevents her from showing her collection in Paris, for spring she again opted for a video in one of the most iconic locations in Tokyo.
For her latest pre-recorded movie, Abe commissioned a branded tourist bus, which made its way to the base of Tokyo Tower, an orange and white radio tower modeled after the Eiffel Tower and completed in 1958. Models emerged from the bus and walked around the base of the tower, as well as across its observation decks.
The designer turned out pieces that went beyond her usual splicing, instead focusing on looks that not only combined contrasting elements, but also could be worn in two ways. A long-line tailored vest became an asymmetric mini skirt when the shoulders were released to hang down at the sides, and sheer blouses were given additional volume with detachable sleeve pieces in contrasting satin.
Abe described her new hybrid pieces as “skillful yet wearable,” noting that while she has been combining different elements for years, this is the first time she has made clothes that can be transformed into different looks. The result was a selection of new pieces that defy definition while providing a wardrobe with versatility.
“I wanted to take regular items and change them into something with an irregular image,” Abe said. She drew on a neutral palette contrasted with bright orange, green, shocking pink and an oversized version of a camouflage print, as well as unusual shapes and unexpected details, to create a new version of wearable basics. The result was a collection of entirely new pieces with an air of familiarity.