Summary: Combining the subtle hints of femininity in an overtly masculine form is what Richard Chai does best. So, why on earth should he change that? For the Fall 2013 ready-to-wear runway show, Chai used his Richard Chai LOVE label to keep doing what he does best. The collection includes a mix of graphic black and white prints, as well as the utilization of a rich and vibrant color palate. The look became a bit more grown-up than what Chai usually designs for but I believe that was for the best. It added more of a feeling of growth than what the designer has usually shown but I don’t think he’s taken that idea far enough in the right direction. In the end, it came out looking a bit flat in some uninspiring pieces.
Though I stated in the beginning that Chai is doing what he does best, it may be time to step a little further out of the box than what he’s been showing the last few seasons. He has created enough of a fanbase that he can be label to keep his aesthetic but branch out of the rut he’s seemed to put himself in. This season was a huge step for the designer, making more of an impact with vibrant purple floral prints and structural piping but it might be time to push a little more. Chai designs for the stylish, everyday woman… who just happens to wear cargo jackets and sleek pencil skirts. There seems to be a big use of the classic gingham print: it makes a bold statement against ink, one of the most used colors of the season. I think Chai should be striving for this type of collection. A collection that still has the designer’s charm of pairing masculinity and femininity in a casual yet fun way, but also growing up and using richer fabrics. This would add depth to the collection, giving it a more well-rounded feel. Chai is on his way but he might still have a few more seasons to finally get it down.
Fabrics & Textures: cotton, nylon, silk, floral, sheer nylon, gingham, stripes, digital print, cotton sateen, filcoupe, neoprene, denim, nylon jersey, jacquard, paneled, paillettes, embroidery, cotton twill, pearlized jersey, washed twill, lurex, hologram embroidery, plaid, ruching
Colors: powder blue, lilac, white, lavender, royal, citrus, misty blue, chalk, sun yellow, graphite, ultrablue, indigo, wheat, ink, iridescent, mauve, buff, silver, taupe, heather grey, slate grey, gold, onyx
Key Looks: Powder blue cotton, nylon layered parka; lilac/white silk/nylon printed layered floral sport top A-line dress; Buff cotton twill zip front jacket with khaki nylon combo, chalk/white cotton shirting classic shirt, buff cotton twill/khaki nylon combo colorblock trouser; Graphite cotton tech shaped zip front flounce dress
– Taneisha Jordan
Photos: WWDSee the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40