"Soft geometry" was the theme du jour for Richard Chai. And that theme may have had no better extrapolation than the very first look Chai sent down the runway this morning—a slender white seersucker gilet worn with a sheer pencil skirt and trousers in a hypnotic variegated stripe. The stripe was what popped, and it served as a deft introduction to Chai's use of graphics. In essence, he was finding ways to play optical tricks, without being migraine-inducing. Frequently that entailed embedding pattern in the texture of the clothes by working tonally or piecing fabrics together, and in other instances that meant applying strong print to diaphanous fabrics and dreamy, bias-cut silhouettes. Chai's bias-cut slipdresses looked fresh, and for that matter so did his super-wide-leg pants, which he showed with sporty fitted crop tops.
The menswear emphasis, meanwhile, was on leather. That's a tricky material to advocate for Spring, but the weather is screwy everywhere and fashion's a global business now, so what the hell? Anyway, as of this season Chai has embarked on a collaboration with leather brand Andrew Marc, so lots of leather was a given. Boys will be snapping up the Andrew Marc x Richard Chai motorcycle jackets, which looked very snappy indeed—quite fitted, and just a bit unexpected in their proportions. The rest of the menswear was rather understated; Chai's most forceful silhouette proposition was a wide-leg pant, and his iterations looked credible. But for the most part the focus here was on materials, both the aforementioned leather and a handful of creatively messed-with, lightweight seersuckers. The Richard Chai man is ready for any kind of springtime weather.