Richard Chai Love
February 10, 2010 New York
Where Spring focused on individual pieces, Fall had an overarching theme: the broody-quirky harnessing of nineties grunge. There were mushroom-hued layers galore with military-inflected woolen coats, all manner of knits, silky printed button-downs, and even baby tees, worn over straight skirts to the ankle or slouched trousers. Pulled apart, this will amount to a mountain of merch, not a bad approach when you're looking to nurture a business.
Talking in the studio, Chai distanced himself from the G-word—unsurprisingly, given his time spent as a design director at Marc Jacobs. Certainly, he put his own spin on the subject with his signature arced seams and original double-take prints. (That floral everyone assumed to be Liberty is actually tiny origami cranes.) And the artful boy-meets-girl mix is one this designer has long explored.
It's a testament to Chai's skills that, as you watched the show, it was easy to forget this was a contemporary collection. When suddenly you remembered, it was a happy moment indeed.