LIIFE Force: Sacai Men’s Fall 2016

For her first men’s runway show, Sacai chose the wonderful Monnaie de Paris as its venue, which was recently revamped into a leading contemporary art space. There was a large neon piece in the stairwell reading LIIFE, which could easily have been mistaken for a piece of art belonging to the gallery, but which turned out to be the collection’s statement. 

LIIFE, with two Is, was a confusing message, but we could interpret it as the I in LIFE, the place of ourselves. In guessing that the designer was asking us to look at ourselves puts her on trend with so many designers questioning our place, politically and economically.

Prints imitated bandannas, but were updated to become batik-like or geometric, and scholarly stripes appeared on cotton drills and on beautiful sheepskin outerwear. Garment patterns were as always exemplary, with clever layering that looked as if several garments were worn together, zipped to each other, or paneled to give a trompe l’oeil effect. The color palette was a classic men’s garde-robe with the addition of ruby and touches of mustard and bright yellow, while the LIIFE graphic was reserved to statement tees and easy sweat shirting. 

The collection seemed pretty straightforward, with many beautiful and desirable pieces that are sure to make it into the wardrobes of many men come fall, but the underlying craftsmanship and attention to detail was hidden in the sheer wearability of it all.

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