Last season, Richard Chai
mined a vein of youth culture—a kind of hazy, Cali surf-and-skate vibe—that yielded a surprising, charming show. For Fall, he left the old look in the dust. And wouldn't you know it? He nailed it again. "Coming off last season, which was really eclectic, I wanted to strip a lot of that away," Chai said in his studio before the presentation. "There's a new sharpness that I've been really inspired by." The palette was toned down and kept mostly in the realm of gray and black, and styled in orderly, tonal looks; blousy layers were replaced by streamlined, structured ones, cut nearer to the body. Wool silk blazers and felted wool outerwear pieces hit square on the shoulder, and were nipped in at the waist. The waist, in fact, became a point of emphasis: Wool trousers sat evenly on it; one particularly desirable cropped peacoat was cropped right at the belt line. It all gave the new collection more of a masculine heft. Even the mixing in of sportier pieces like long-john leggings and nylon blousons didn't dispel that hint. Kids: They grow up so fast these days! Just a season ago, they were playing in the sand. But if you miss those youthful days, take heart. They were recalled in a section of pajama dressing featuring piped cotton PJ tops and pants printed, quite prettily in fact, with birds.