The S/S 13 collection from Richard Chai LOVE—the contemporary offshoot of the designer's eponymous line—was exactly what the doctor ordered after so many months of textured layering. Pale blues and khakis, breathable fabrics, and short, flirtatious hemlines gave the collection a fresh, palette-cleansing vibe we love. With a touch of sportiness, Chai’s boy-meets-girl mix offered an assortment of pieces we can’t wait to wear when the weather finally warms up, like an embellished v-neck and color-blocked anorak, and we think you’ll find them covetable too. Keep reading for details on all of our favorite items, and don’t miss our exclusive Q&A with the designer, where he talks about the start of his career, the inspirations behind the spring collection, and more.
Asymmetric Overlay Dress with Grosgrain Banding ($395, 212.475.0075) in Digital Stripe Print-Cotton
Consider this your new daytime look: an easy-breezy dress in a soft watercolor palette styled with peep-toe booties.
Combo Zip Front Coat with Grosgrain Tape Detail ($595, 212.475.0075) in Grey Nylon
Contrast this parka’s athletic-inspired vibe by shrugging it on over a girly floral dress.
Embroidered Front T-Shirt ($695, 212.475.0075) in Folded Pailette Hologram
Hologram embroidery jazzes up this slightly sheer top for a visually intriguing finish. For a fresh combination, pair it with crisp Bermuda shorts and heels.
Snap Front A-Line Mini Skirt ($254, 212.475.0075) in Khaki
Slip on this little button-front skirt with a t-shirt and pointy-toe flats for a chic on-the-go look.
Flounce Miniskirt ($297)
One of Chai’s essentials this season? A mini skirt with a flared hem. Wear it with a semi-sheer sweater for a sweet ensemble.
Q&A with Richard Chai
What inspired the start of your design career?
Since I can remember, I was always interested in the arts. I grew up watching my mother oil paint and took to the idea of creative expressions early on. At 13-years-old, I enrolled in evening classes at Parsons. It was there that I discovered Fashion Design when I accidentally ended up in the wrong classroom. I was initially taking classes in Graphic Design, but soon switched into Fashion Illustration when that fortunate mistake became the idea for my future
What was the inspiration behind this season's collection?
I wanted the S/S 13 collection to be really light and refreshing. The materials were a starting point with transparent mesh and bright neoprene. Each season always starts with a mood and feeling, and the colors, materials, and silhouette are all centered around that mood.
How would you style specific pieces from this collection? Do you have a favorite piece in the collection?
S/S 13 had a lot more flirtier, feminine pieces but I still wanted to keep that cool, laidback tomboy feel that LOVE has, so that came into play when styling the pieces. It's hard to pick one favorite piece; I think the neoprene fit-and-flare skirts worked well in the collection and the cutout dresses were sweet and a little sexy at the same time.
What kind of girl do you envision wearing your clothing?
I think the Richard Chai LOVE girl is sophisticated, spirited, and an individual.
How does your design process for a collection start?
The development starts very soon after the runway show for the previous season. I always start the collection with a mood and spirit that I want to capture. From there, I work around that idea through color, fabrics, and silhouette, to find a way to get my vision for the season across.
Cutout Back Dress and Flounce Miniskirt images courtesy of Shopbop.com