09/05/2013 07:15 EDT | Updated 11/05/2013 05:12 EST

Richard Chai plays with shapes, but the pieces fit into his puzzle for spring

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Fashion is having a moment of fluidity, particularly in the newest collections from Richard Chai that debuted Thursday at New York Fashion Week.

The geometric shapes that Chai is known to play with had softened edges, thanks largely to his choices in fabric and colour.

One look was white seersucker and the next a bright red silk in a shade he called "grenadine." Some silhouettes were long and lean, while others were airy and asymmetrical, but they somehow meshed just fine.

The quilted leather moto jacket paired with a full skirt made of matte sequins was a sophisticated juxtaposition, and so was the mint-colored floral (tiny) crop top worn with a full pleated trouser.

One pair of pants had so much fabric — a far cry from the skinny-leg pants that so many in the front row were wearing — that the model tripped.

A lovely, black, shadow-stripe slip dress had that same feeling of airiness but was more delicate in its execution.

Chai puts his men's collection and the looks from his Love label for women on the same runway at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents, although in a fairly unusual twist, it was his men's clothes that seemed a little more daring.

Truthfully, you don't see many knee-length, blue-windowpane Chesterfield coats worn with tie-front shorts on men, not even in the front row here. Maybe a pop star could pull it off — and Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas had prime seats right near the bank of photographers.


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