Fall 2014 gave us Gothic Grunge at the house of Richard Chai. Incongruous, you say? It certainly felt as such. Not that it did not render some fine results, but it was a jumbled mix that often fell on the side of disjointed and at times, haphazard. The Men's offerings were Surprisingly Natty and Coherent, Sharp, yet Shrunken Tailoring and a West Coast In The Autumn vibe running through it embracing Cool weather Chic! The Women's on the other hand, was much less focused and embraced more than one idea at a time without a judicious editing hand to temper the excess.
Opening with a Grunge-worthy look that paired a nuzzly plaid Mohair T-shirt Sweater layered over a Crinkle pleat long sleeve blouse and Lace encrusted Burgundy pants gave the collection urban appeal in a quick fashion. Of equal measure was a certain Helmut Lang style in the shrunken suiting exemplified by Exit No. 7. From there there was this Teeter-Totter effect of Urban Restraint and Gothic Extravagance being prismatically seen through the lens of Grunge layering where things began to fall apart. How to compare and contrast The Goth girl Exuberance of a Burgundy Lace encrusted coat paired with a Matching Steel Grey pair of pants and a Leather top at Exit No. 13 against the Beauteous Simplicity of a Steel Blue Bathrobe wrap coat at Exit No. 17...???
Ultimately, it was the Layering effects that dragged this collection down into inelegant territory, When Chai kept things simple, he shone brightest, but when he got preoccupied with layers, the clothes suffered. Not tragically, mind you, but enough to keep the collection from gleaming as strongly as it could.