Chai is among the few designers to show collections for men and women on the same runway during the seasonal previews for retailers, editors, stylists, celebrities and, increasingly, bloggers.
His models walked one by one but the crowd surely could envision couples: She in a metallic, military jacket and pencil skirt, he in a plaid suit.
Chai used emerald and the dustier, more botanical Linden greens that Pantone Inc., which provides colour services to most of the fashion industry, put on its Top 10 list of the season.
The designer featured a lovely shade of light purple — a little unusual for fall — on a textured jacquard with a lacelike effect for a pencil skirt and matching peplum top. A man-tailored shirt underneath added a modernity and utility that Chai is developing as signatures.
Christina Ricci said she came to watch during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week as a personal friend of the designer. She wore an embellished blue top by Chai and black pants.
"I have some of his clothes in my closet. I'm kind of a uniform girl. I wear jeans and tank tops a lot," she said.
Samantha Critchell tweets fashion at (at)AP_Fashion and can also be reached at (at)Sam_Critchell