شنبه 19 بهمن 1392
Whether in a beautiful gray polished-shearling bomber paired with delicately textured wool pants, or a rough-hewn toffee-colored suit with pants gathered sportily at the back of the ankle by a ribbed cuff—an austere naturalism accented with subtle styling flair defined the Richard Chai fall 2014 menswear collection.
Was there a hint of nautical? “At times, maybe. A little bit. I can see it with the stripes, the necklines on the guys' sweaters. But I think it’s more just a boyish energy that I wanted to make feel luxe somehow,” Chai said backstage at Lincoln Center. “Really the whole collection was built on this idea of textures done in a sort of subtle, austere way. Some of it more eclectic and more mixed up, but keeping it within a limited tonal range—stone, petrol, coffee, onyx, cement.”
So those color names, they’re taken from nature? “I think so, subconsciously. Particularly with the way things like weather affect me,” Chai said. “Also collaborating again with Andrew Marc on so many leathers meant looking at different kinds of textures. Mattes versus glazed versus grained, etc. It just made me think of all the ways of translating that kind of natural subtlety into other materials.”
On the guys, layering actually played much less a role than in season’s past. The strongest pieces involved a menswear staple—a moto jacket, a work pant—wrought in a great piece of fabric. While the women’s took a lot of those same pieces and layered them over a more feminine base, the two collections gelled particularly well. One fabric could feel surprisingly masculine or feminine; similarly, a silhouette could twist slightly and change completely, the most notable example being Chai’s signature tied-around-the-waist look. “Yeah, I do always wear something wrapped around my waist as a bit of a security blanket,” he laughed. “So we did all these angular handkerchief skirts out of really light fabric. And then on the guys we turned shirts sideways to mimic the women’s skirts.“
So it’s the men mimicking the women, or the women mimicking the men?
“Oh, the men always follow the women.”