NYFW A/W11: Richard Chai

By  February 11, 2011

Bundled beauties, I loved the laissez-faire layering at work in Richard Chai‘s Love diffusion collection. The sort of model off duty slipping from backstage at a runway show in her chiffon gown to suck down a cigarette, shrugging into an oversized coat that doesn’t belong to her for her getaway approach to dressing, a relaxed look that says, “I’m cool” without trying to hard (one only need look to the model who’s half-washed out pink Kool-Aid dye-job somehow managed to really work for her).

Chai played with proportions, sectioning off floor length pleated chiffon dresses and skirts with mid-length coats and wool bomber jackets with sleeves that appeared just a *tad* too long.

In terms of footwear, chunky curved heel ankle boots were teamed with each and every look. Some black, some cream and some cowhide (LUSH). The monster-clomp we’ve been worshipping at the altar of as of late seems to be giving way to a more sensible heel. The nuance lay in the curved shape, adding just the right amount of architecture to an otherwise very basic everyday boot.

After the bevvy of belted and coated beauties came the cream and hand embellished sheer evening looks a la Miu Miu (think PeterPan collars and shimmering palette applique). The look for evening is pretty and girly, not sexy and is a literal translation of Chai’s daywear looks.

While the collection didn’t rock any boats or reach newfound sartorial heights, it had some great mass appeal on a consumer basis and I predict many an “it” girl will be clamouring to don some of the more striking pieces. The simple, subdued sensibility exuded on Chai’s runway can be wrapped up in the suffix attached to his eponymous mainline to denote the diffusion: LOVE.