Richard Chai Love
February 04, 2005 New York
The effect, Chai explained backstage, was "a fusion of the romantic and the futuristic." Put another way, the designer worked feminine fabrics like silk against masculine materials such as striped suitings. He also replaced spring's ethereal, fuller shapes with more-structured ones, as in moleskin coats that were flared at the hem. There were some awkward moments: A boiled-wool skirt hung lifelessly from the waist (the dense fabric is better suited to jackets), and a red velvet top shied away stiffly from a model's shoulders. But saturated hues like bottle green and ultramarine were a welcome addition to this talented young designer's repertoire, as were his "I'll take them in every color" leg-elongating tapered trousers.