Known for generally choosing darker colours to create sombre tones, Richard Chai has completed a volte-face by incorporating many light hues within his SS13 runway preview, creating an almost ethereal-like collection. Sportswear aesthetics are also featured heavily throughout; a theme re-emerging for SS13.
With an almost neutral pattern in the earlier portion of the collection, the powder blues, muted silvers and white move emphasis toward the fabrics chosen, which drape and flow to help create shape. Sheer nylons, silk and neoprene are the stars here, without using such slight materials the range would lose much of its appeal. The majority of the menswear lacks definition through cuts and tailoring, so it truly is up to the material to cascade perfectly in place.
The collection relies upon this neutral palette, which is maintained even though the latter half of the collection features an injection of colour – noticeably darker tones. This, however, doesn’t distract from the clarity of Chai’s show, with the beiges and taupe only enhancing the underlying palette.
The lighter hues produce a variety of refined looks, further emphasised by the use of blazers, and even the translucent button-down shirts add an inflection of sophistication.
Reinventing sports pieces couples the idea of athleticism and fashion, proving that sportswear doesn’t have to be gaudy, shapeless or fluorescent. I guess this now means there’s no excuse to look shabby during those trips to the gym.