NYFW AW2014: Richard Chai

A varied exhibition of aesthetics at Richard Chai Love in New York, on the first day of the fashion festivities, suggested an emancipation of sorts, as a joyous, liberally slap-dash modernity marked an experimental transition from the tight, disciplined Chai trademark.


The tactile tendency, a popular trait this season, gave way to a causal luxe, with crafty matching stripes, top to bottom, running across both womenswear and menswear ensembles, Miyake imbued berry stained pleats, monopolizing juxtaposition, and a chipper mix-and-match agenda. Albeit, nothing felt entirely succinct, but herein, this does present the notion of Chai’s charm, as the classicism of moody lace, materializing at once as le smoking jacket and next as a bolshie oversized adaptation, is contrasted with a faded lumberjack print, capitalised by a stand-out mohair coat, striking, and ultimately plaid to perfection.

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With touches of Yamamoto’s deconstruction, reconstructed moderately throughout by Chai’s masterful cutting, the irregularity of thick dominating obsidian leathers and delicate trouser shapes, wrinkled and fine, communicates an indifference and freewill like no other, as masculine jackets featuring loud buttons become offset by dainty, reserved collars. Whilst efforts have been taken by Chai that continue to relish in the disciplinary doctrine, the bounty of emergent vanguard styling, alluding to a new, gratifying, air of ease, demonstrates the evolution that ensures the designer’s fresh, contemporary, and somewhat icy, appeal remains on course.

by Liam Feltham


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