Recently appointed creative director of American heritage brand Filson, Richard Chai presented a down to earth collection featuring somber stripes, neatly belted jackets and some very silly suiting. Maybe the latter was an attempt to liven up the former, kind of like bringing a puppy to a funeral; regardless, the balance felt off.
I preferred the more colorful and handsome, preppy co-ed looks of his women’s collection this year. With the exception of a very smart burgundy trouser, a kickass oversized woolen duffel knapsack and one or two examples of the aforementioned slick-yet-woodsy Filson coats, Chai’s menswear felt encumbered by their new commitments. Filson is about the outdoors, and Chai is all about relaxed urban elegance, captured in the sweatshirt tied around his waste, which the designer is rarely without. The intersection of those elements should be a joyous, adventurous one. This collection made it seem like a begrudgingly completed chore.