Richard Chai Love
February 06, 2014 New York
Meanwhile, there were secondary themes here. One was stripes, and Chai made a convincing case for wearing bold, vertical stripes top to bottom. In his hands, the effect was remarkably subdued. The other notable theme was leather, witnessed widely in this collection courtesy of a collaboration with Andrew Marc. Chai's instinct for discipline serves him well in the cutting of shearling outerwear: All these coats and jackets looked neat, neat, neat. And all the more desirable for that. Whereas this collection was at its weakest when it seemed to abandon that neatness instinct altogether. Too many of the women's looks were wrapped and patchworked in ways that felt nonspecific and, well, messy. A plaid mohair coat was a better expression of Chai's effort to loosen things up—the effect was relaxed, robelike even, but you understood that the effect was created thanks to many, many, highly conscious subtle gestures. And isn't that always the way?