New York Fashion Week Fall '10. Richard Chai Love(s) To Pile It On

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Summary: It's collections like these that make me wonder how we're supposed to judge a fashion show. Are we looking at the wearability of individual pieces? Analyzing the creativity of the design concept? Or appreciating the way the outfits and models are styled? At the Richard Chai Love collection show, the separates were wearable, the concept esteemable and the styling, well…

Chai said he wanted to "capture the way an art student dresses," and it seems to me his muses were students at the Anchorage Academy of Art. He piled layer upon layer–in one outfit he put a camisole on top of a sweater atop a button-down shirt and paired it with pants over leggings–and while I know models have 3% bodyfat, I suspect even they must have been sweating. 

Still, the pieces themselves were… cute. Slouchy separates engendered a carefree vibe, and his many maxi-skirts are a refreshing 180 from the short-skirts-with-tights look we've been seeing the past few years. All in all, his clothes look cozy and approachable, and, perhaps ironically, give the impression that the wearer is a stylish woman who has much more important things to do than think about style.

Color Palette: Powder blue, mauve, pine, flax, taupe, charcoal, navy, gray, army green, black, violet, chocolate

Fabrics & Textures: Wool, cashmere, silk crepe de chine, jersey, sequins, fur

Key Looks: Flax melange merino wool ribbed sleeve tubular knitted blouson sweater, charcoal melange merino wool tubular knitted draped shrug, mauve wool ribbed long tube skirt; Charcoal melange felted wool cut away long boyfriend coat, flax melange merino wool tubular knitted funnel neck sweater dress, distressed pewter metallic sequin embroidered double-breasted waistcoat; taupe silk double georgette asymmetric panel long skirt

—Becky Ellis

Photos: NYMag

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