Chitose Abe and her right-hand man Daisuke Gemma were thinking about love and life for this season. The words, they said, are quite similar in Japanese; and given the turbulence of the world right now, they figured most people’s lives could do with more love. We’d all agree with that. What’s more difficult is to convince people they need more clothes. However, Sacai (a label founded back in the Nineties that has slow-burned and only leapt to prominence in the past few years) has proved more persuasive than most. That is possibly down to the weird mixing and mashing-up of different garments, fabrics, and treatments that wind up creating hybrid clothes that we’ve never seen before. Only, we’ve seen references to Sacai’s cut-and-paste approach all over the season, jackets folding into sweaters, dropping trains, sprouting a double layer. Trace it back to here. Given their wares’ popularity as sly mood board reference points for others, Sacai understandably didn’t change direction with this show, but they did crank their menswear offering up a notch. It was Daisuke Gemma who explained this backstage, rather than Chitose Abe -she was back in Japan working on the womenswear line due to be presented in just over a month. But DG is embedded in Sacai and proved an able mouthpiece : "This is life with extra love", he said, "extra processes, treatments, there’s love on each piece". That 'love' included garment-dyed shoes, jackets flipped inside out and intricately worked, knitting, and quilting. References ran the gamut : a single band of fabric spanning the hips was a reference to punk bum flaps and the traditional cummerbund. Elsewhere, there were Americana echoes, in bikers and sweatshirts, bandana prints blown up big, and collegiate stripes in feather-soft sheepskin. A decorative glut, crushed into single outfits. "But we’re from Tokyo", the designer shrugged. "So we like to mix things up". The love theme was deftly handled : there were no hearts, for a start. The notion was abstractly expressed, through velvet linings cuddling softly against the body, and a surfeit of strapped-on life vests -"because life is worth saving", mused Raisuke Gemma, cod-philosophically. These are nice ideas to embed in clothes, and Sacai’s garments never feel like empty, soulless offerings or mere assemblages of textile. There’s a warmth and soul to them, a sense of humanity, which perhaps emanates from all their design foibles, their willful, overt complexity. There’s a sense of the hand behind them, always. It can occasionally seem forced -as if a jacket has been sewn onto another jacket for the sheer sake of it, to prove some kind of technical prowess, rather than to serve a practical purpose, or actually make the garment more attractive. The zoetrope of themes spinning around in each outfit here threatened to prove dizzying, but it never became overwhelming. It was easy to pull apart these complicated, convoluted clothes and get them onto your back -quite literally, in the case of a knotted-up, bicolored duffle in oxblood wool and biscuit shearling. That was just two duffles misbuttoned together, sold separately. Sacai’s clothes are smart but simple. Life will love them.