Richard Chai Love F/W 13
New York Fashion Week got off to a sharp, sleek start with Richard Chai’s joint showing of his men’s line and his contemporary women’s Love line Thursday morning. The invitation was covered in a baroque distressed jacquard, but the look for Fall was all stark lines and clean cuts. That pattern did make a few appearances, but overall the feel was one of pared-down cleanness. For the girls, that meant a longer silhouette, with coats and dresses that hit mid-calf, and Alana Zimmer’s structured blouse and skirt in glowing amethyst. Over on the men’s side, the minimalism came through in Benjamin Jarvis’ cool khaki military ensemble, in Ian Sharp’s shimmering gray overcoat, in Alex Michels’ biker jacket in a subtle plaid. Chai has been known since his first collection as an arbiter of downtown cool, and that was no different this season, although there was a new touch of polish, both figuratively and, in some cases, literally. Hanne Gaby Odiele’s closing dress had an almost sculptural shape—as did the peplums adorning several looks—while Baptiste Radufe’s and Yannick Abrath’s suits had a smooth, mature flair. There were numerous reminders of Chai’s attention to detail as well, like the quiet contrast of the printed collar on Miles McMillan’s overcoat, or the patchwork of fabrics that made up Ava Smith’s glowing green dress. With a thrumming, pulsating soundtrack by the Knife, it was the perfect way to kick off another show season.