FLOWER POWER The struc­tures, shades, and scents of del­i­cate blos­soms have inspired the world over. BAZAAR talks petal per­fec­tion with Sam McKnight and Chitose Abe.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Fashionable Life -

Chitose Abe’s cult la­bel Sa­cai has blos­somed into one of the most cov­eted, with her ap­proach to reimag­in­ing clas­sic sil­hou­ettes and un­con­ven­tional use of pat­terns and tex­tures. Flow­ers played a cen­tral role in her Spring 2015 col­lec­tion. “I of­ten think about the jux­ta­po­si­tion of mas­cu­line and fem­i­nine ideas com­bined to cre­ate a new clas­sic,” she says. “The sil­hou­ettes were based on util­ity wear and uni­forms, but by us­ing a soft chif­fon with a colour­ful flo­ral print I changed mas­cu­line sil­hou­ettes into some­thing more fem­i­nine.” Abe has al­ways loved the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the nat­u­ral and the in­dus­trial. “My favourite gar­den is Kat­sura Rikyu in Ky­oto,” she shares. “The bal­ance be­tween his­tor­i­cal ical build­ings and man­i­cured gar­dens cre­ates a beau­ti­ful sight.” It’s a con­trast sought in the de­sign of her flag­ship. “There’s a wall with glass slid­ing doors that open onto a gar­den,” she re­veals. “I like how you can see a hint of green through the win­dow. The mix of na­ture and man-made within the same en­vi­ron­ment is truly beau­ti­ful.”

For more than 30 years, Sam McKnight has been one of the most in-de­mand hair­styl­ists, col­lab­o­rat­ing with Karl Lager­feld and Vivi­enne West­wood, and trans­form­ing the tresses of Kate Moss and Madonna. But it was just five years ago that he fi­nally got to ap­ply his cre­ativ­ity to another pas­sion – gar­den­ing. When he bought his first house, a semi-de­tached Ed­war­dian in North West Lon­don, McKnight took gar­den in­spi­ra­tion from old es­tates: Siss­inghurst, for­mer home of poet, au­thor, and Vir­ginia Woolf paramour Vita Sackville-West; and Great Dix­ter, owned by gar­den­ing writer Christo­pher Lloyd. “I like the wild Ed­war­dian style of gar­den of the early last cen­tury,” says McKnight, who en­listed gar­den de­signer and friend Jo Thompson to re­land­scape his own. “I have roses and pe­onies in June and July. Then come my English peren­ni­als, sun­flow­ers, sweet peas, gera­ni­ums, daisies, and dahlias. I grew spinach all win­ter.” The in­flu­ence has even be­gun to creep into his work. “I’ve done a lot of coloured hair over the last few years,year and that comes di­rectly from the colo colours in my gar­den,” he says.

McKnight’s Lon­don gar­den in March

The Sa­cai flag­ship in Tokyo

“I al­ways give my mum a rose­bush for her birth­day. It’s nice to give a David Austin rose – they’re old English roses.”

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