chitose abe jean paul gaultier
Gio Staiano

The avant-garde couture side of fashion took a hit earlier this year when Jean Paul Gaultier announced his retirement after a monumental 50 years in the game. News of the iconic designer’s departure effectively set the stage for the house’s new chapter; inviting a guest artist to devise the season in question’s couture collection. And with that in mind, sacai’s very own Chitose Abe has been tasked with fashioning the label’s inaugural offering.

“I am pleased that this concept will become reality now with Chitose Abe of Sacai as the first guest designer. I admire her work, we have many things in common creatively and a similar vision of fashion. I am glad to give her the complete freedom,” Gaultier explained to WWD. Abe countered that sentiment with, “I have a long-held admiration for Jean Paul’s unique vision of subversive femininity and his originality, both of which I’ve strived towards in my work since the beginning. It’s a true honor to be given the opportunity to be custodian of his house as the first designer of this project.”

Abe’s creative output pivots around the juxtaposition of varying subcultural strains. Her willingness to cohesively blend military sensitivities against modernistic sportswear and formal elegance will serve her well as JPG’s artistic ambassador.

Be on the lookout for Chitose Abe and her guest collection at Paris Couture Week in July. In other high-fashion news, Fear of God and Zegna recently converged on a sophisticated menswear line.