An immersive, high-octane performance within the depths of an underground amphitheatre in north London, with dancers dressed in hybrid ensembles that reworked Nike cult classics with sacai’s tech innovation and feminine charm. The performance was accompanied by a bass-heavy soundtrack, which continued into the after party that followed thanks to beats supplied by DJ Nature, Shy FX, Seb Chew and Jetsss.
The climactic event was choreographed by Ryan Heffington, the man most recently responsible for FKA twigs’Google Glass voguing video. The collection’s theme of contrasting different worlds was reflected within the performance, which fused ballet with street dance. “We cast most dancers here in London, and brought in one from LA. We wanted a wide variety of styles and backgrounds,” explained Heffington. “It was about artists and athletes. Scrimmaging and battling and the different aspects you would take on as an athlete in any field, but with a sense of femininity and elegance. We wanted to give it a heartbeat.” Dancers contorted and spun beneath streaming strobe lighting, as the audience gathered round the dark circular space. There were quiet moments of haunting fragility amidst the fast-paced body pops, front flips and flashing lights. Voluminous silhouettes delicately hung and wafted through the air, and the show climaxed with a performer suspended from the ceiling, as a ring of dancers circled below, echoing a sacrificial ritual.
Sacai founder Chitose Abe delved into the Nike archives for the collection, reinventing key athletic pieces through her own conceptual lens. Hooded Tech-Fleece sweatshirts were sliced with signature pleated panelling and peplum folds, while graphic T-shirts came trimmed in mesh lace, worn with jogging trousers with contrasting elasticated ankle bands. A stand-out piece was a skirt inspired by the Heritage Windrunner jacket, with accordion pleats in strips of rippling colour. The 8-piece collection was punctuated by bright popping pink and cobalt blue, worn with the soon-to-be coveted Nike Air Max 90 sneakers – a new slip-on trainer with a tromp l’oeil wedge. With its new take on gender and movement through intricately crafted tech fabrics and its emphasis on street clothing (as opposed to athletic wear), the collection is proof of Nike’s powerful ability to conquer bold new fashion territory.