September 12, 2006
Richard Chai chose a pair of diverse influences for his spring collection: photographer Bruce Davidson's "Brooklyn Gang" series
and flowers. The latter inspired dresses that were darted and draped to move around the body and festooned with folded pleats and gauzy, rippled neck details. These romantic pieces were best when applied with a light hand, but Chai's desire to devise evermore cunning methods of construction sometimes resulted in looks that were overdesigned. Fortunately, his other stated inspirationDavidson's no-frills fifties tough guyshelped him keep things simple. The first lookIkeliene Stange in slim, light-blue jeans and a seamed jacket with standing collar worn over a white shirthit all the right notes. So did a sharp sundress, some of the structured coats, and a well-cut bomber made of eelskin. Chai said his goal with this collection was to "make artfully crafted, special pieces that can be worn casually," and for the most part, he succeeded.