The soundtrack throbbed and bleeped into gear with Aleem’s “Release Yourself” and faded out with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”—memories of a club moment in the early 1980s, the club being Paradise Garage, legend in its own time and inspiration for the new collection from Sacai. Daisuke Gemma, the label’s spokesman, mentioned “a hybrid of all periods and places and genders,” a beautiful chaos that he felt was perfectly symbolized by the Garage, whose logo was scattered across the collection. In the same spirit, there were buffalo checks next to fern-printed pj’s, storm flaps on tailored jackets, knit flight jackets, fractured Argyles, Peruvian patterns, high-collared bibs, and elegant beaded wraps. And the ubiquitous sandals and socks, a given for Spring 2016.
The idea, said Gemma, was a kid waking up and grabbing clothes from a pile on the floor, a random compilation of items that somehow took direction from his own innate sense of style. This crash course for the ravers was, of course, shaped by the fact that the pile was actually Sacai’s Spring collection, which, in each outfit’s corralling of a dozen elements, had a complexity that was reflected in its layered clubby/grungy look on the catwalk. The layers at first seemed heavy for a Spring outing, but the buffalo checks were a light mesh, and the high-collared shirts were bibs, and the storm flaps were detachable, so everything could be stripped back. You wanted to see that happen, to see the models go wild to the pulsing soundtrack, to see the clothes move. Things like that used to happen in fashion shows, way back in the glory days of places like the Paradise Garage. But no more, especially not when the show is staged, as this one was, in the imperious arena of the Bourse, the old Stock Exchange. Still, the spirit is always willing. And, fortunately, the flesh is always weak. There will be dancing…later.