Things Get Romantic -- But Not Too Sweet -- at Richard Chai Love Fall 2014

Moody colors, black lace -- it's a tomboy-meets-Victoriana mashup.
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Moody colors, black lace -- it's a tomboy-meets-Victoriana mashup.
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Richard Chai never fails to give us a polished balance of boy-meets-girl in the form of just-relaxed-enough downtown basics. Thursday's show -- with editors stacked row upon row for one of the few cool kids left showing at Lincoln Center -- was no exception. The opening look, set to the tune of a raging Bangles '60s-style surf riff, was part tartan tomboy and part feminine Victorian stunner.

Black lace embossed on deep maroon trousers popped up again and again on the girls, giving the collection a burst of romanticism. Tailored camel blazers called to mind a heritage hunting trip. Mini biker jackets and deep vertical neo-punk stripes in loose silhouettes -- equally casual for men and women -- reminded us that these looks are for those who dwell below 14th Street. Near the end of the show, things got a little more festive. Sequins -- a verifiable disco ball’s worth -- hit the runway to questionable effect. It takes one very bold girl to rock black sparkly drop pants -- even with a moto-ready cropped leather jacket in tow. The general mood in the room perked up a bit with the boy’s looks. They were monochromatic and simple to the right effect. As far as the casting, it's safe to say there were no complaints there.