Richard Chai Love
September 06, 2012 New York
For Love, the signal looks were the fit-and-flare skirt, which Chai executed in a couple of sprightly cuts, one A-line, one flounced, and the crisp, fitted minidresses, a development of the same silhouette. The dresses were particularly sharp in dark denim and a slick technical cotton; the more formal embroidered dresses and those of collaged printed silk came off a bit cluttered. Elsewhere, Chai had a nice idea in his wavelike color-blocked neutrals, and his bike shorts and shaped tees in neoprene looked seriously luxe—though this reviewer, for one, isn't totally sold on neoprene as a warm-weather fabric. (There's a reason they use the stuff to make wetsuits.) The über-cropped halter tops, however, seemed perfectly seasonal. Cheers to the girl with the abs to pull off those tops.
The menswear saw Chai getting a little experimental, particularly with his materials. The collection emphasized technical fabrics, but he used them—cleverly—in classic ways. To wit, a sheer polo or a double-breasted jacket in color-blocked gray nylon. He also played with the finishes of his materials: The cotton in the collection's pale blue soft suiting was treated to maintain a subtle permanent rumple. In general, the men's looks were strong—relaxed yet refined, with a nice sportif affect. The one off element was his overliteral homage to motocross, but even these pieces will break out just fine and work their way into many a well-dressed guy's wardrobe.