Richard Chai Love
February 09, 2011 New York
At its best, today's collection seemed to strike a great balance between the two spheres. You'd be hard-pressed to identify anything down-market about a cool, mannish overcoat in a beautiful dark variegated tweed, or any of the outerwear, for that matter. As has been the case in past seasons, long and lean layers played a big role. Patch-pocketed vests were worn over coats, which in turn went over maxi skirts, either swishing, pleated satin-backed crepe numbers or straight jersey columns. One great new idea was Chai's take on the three-piece suit with a long shawl-collar vest and drawstring pants—a polished look that's secretly comfortable.
If there was a quibble, it was that some of this felt familiar. It's always a pleasure to see a designer in New York with a recognizable signature, but now that Chai's solidly established Love as his main focus, it would be interesting to see him push further into unexpected directions.