Richard Chai and Richard Chai Love Fall 2012: Function Meets Fashion From Filson's New Creative Director

Fresh of the heels of his recent appointment as Creative Director of Filson, Richard Chai showed a strong collection of functional, utilitarian, minimalist (for him) clothes with a '90s grunge feel that was very true to his aesthetic. Backstage, in between air-kisses with Poppy Delevigne and telling models about the after party, the designer described to us the contrast from last season: "Last season was really eclectic and colorful and a real mashup and this season I really wanted to strip everything away and get back to the idea of really accessible, approachable clothes, [but] in areally aspirational way. I didn't want to create looks just for the sake of it being a show. I really wanted to take clothes and make it things that people want to wear and look cool wearing." I think he succeeded because I did want to wear a lot of those clothes--especially the striped dresses and plaid coats. What I really loved was that it felt like a true fall collection of clothes that, head to toe, are actually practical to wear in fall and winter.
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Fresh of the heels of his recent appointment as Creative Director of Filson, Richard Chai showed a strong collection of functional, utilitarian, minimalist (for him) clothes with a '90s grunge feel that was very true to his aesthetic. Backstage, in between air-kisses with Poppy Delevigne and telling models about the after party, the designer described to us the contrast from last season: "Last season was really eclectic and colorful and a real mashup and this season I really wanted to strip everything away and get back to the idea of really accessible, approachable clothes, [but] in areally aspirational way. I didn't want to create looks just for the sake of it being a show. I really wanted to take clothes and make it things that people want to wear and look cool wearing." I think he succeeded because I did want to wear a lot of those clothes--especially the striped dresses and plaid coats. What I really loved was that it felt like a true fall collection of clothes that, head to toe, are actually practical to wear in fall and winter.
photo: Imaxtree

photo: Imaxtree

Fresh off the heels of his appointment as Creative Director of Filson, Richard Chai showed a strong collection of functional, utilitarian, minimalist (for him) clothes with a '90s grunge feel that was very true to his aesthetic.

Backstage, in between air-kisses with Poppy Delevigne and telling models about the after party, the designer told us: "Last season was really eclectic and colorful and a real mashup and this season I really wanted to strip everything away and get back to the idea of really accessible, approachable clothes, [but] in a really aspirational way. I didn't want to create looks just for the sake of it being a show. I really wanted to take clothes and make it things that people want to wear and look cool wearing." I think he succeeded because I did want to wear a lot of those clothes--especially the striped dresses and plaid coats. What I really loved was that it felt like a true fall collection of clothes that, head-to-toe, are actually practical to wear in fall and winter.

Mens and womens became more intertwined than ever this season and the collection felt more like one cohesive unit rather than two separate collections. That's not to say there weren't feminine options, but the women's clothes--which included sophisticated dresses and flowy skirts, felt more functional and covered up and less girly than previous seasons. The menswear especially fit in perfectly with Chai's collab with Seattle-based outdoor clothing brand Filson--who he actually reached out to. "As a young designer we get so many opportunities to collaborate with people and get offered to do projects," he told us. "But, this was something I wanted to do. I reached out to them actually. I love their outerwear; I love their craft and their clothes." So what can we expect from the collaboration? "It's kind of taking the essence of what Filson is about, but obviously that's like outdoor hunting and fishing gear. It's very practical and functional. This is much more about the idea of streamlining it from the perspective of someone like me or someone who loves fashion."

We love the idea of a functional, well-constructed, classic piece with a hint of fashion and that's clearly something Chai knows how to do. Click through to see the full men's and women's collections!