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Richard Chai Feb 20013 M ReayIIMG_6027 copy

Richard Chai AW13

Chai understands the dynamism of showing men and women together. But is NY about to go through a break-up?

Watching women and men walk together at Richard Chai – the palette of smoke, evergreen and lilac moving through both collections – it seemed sad that this may be one of the last seasons in which we will see menswear and womenswear sharing the runway. New York is the only remaining fashion hub without a proper Men's Fashion Week, and the CFDA, noting the success of London Collections: Men, is supposedly a few meetings away from declaring seven days for dudes in NYC. Of course, from a market standpoint, it makes sense. But watching how elegantly Chai interpreted the same motifs for different genders emphasised the inspirational value we may take for granted when we watch these combined collections. For example, a dusty purple line in a minimal plaid men's suit popped in tiny bunches of flowers on a women's pencil skirt. A silvery mercury polyamide overcoat was styled on a male model with just the top button fastened, and then before our eyes seemed to cinch into a piece of body conscious outerwear on a woman. These shared details build an interesting narrative and remind us that the definitions of menswear and womenswear are more fluid than ever. Case and point: crisp tailored Richard Chai shirts looked markedly fresh on whoever wore one.

Hair: Kevin Ryan 

Models pictured:  Manon Leloup (@ManonLeLoup), Miles McMillan (@miles_mcmillan), Hanne Gaby Odiele (@hannegabysays), Josephine Letutour (@JosephineLT_), Josephine Skrivert (@JosephinSkriver), Benjamin Jarvis (@BenjJarvis), Yumi Lambert (@YlaUrMal), Arthur Gosse (@arthurgosse)